Source: Kurukshetra Magazine
The inter-linkage between health and nutrition has been recognized since ages. Good nutritional status ensures that individuals can fight disease-causing agents, stay healthy, be productive to society and contribute to overall development.
Undernutrition in children, especially in the fetus during pregnancy and up to 2 years of age, can take away up to 15IQ points. A study by the World Bank has estimated that the annual cost of malnutrition in India is at least US$ 10 billion and is driven by the loss of productivity, illness and premature deaths
Diseases linked to Under-nutrition
- A poorly nourished person has weak immunity and immune defence system
- An undernourished individual, including those with micronutrient deficiency, are at higher risk of the majority of infectious diseases including tuberculosis, viral and all other infections.
- Underweight and under-nourished child is at higher risk of diarrhoea and pneumonia. The chances of recovery in such children are slower
- While poor nutrition affects the health outcomes in all population sub-group, it is the women in reproductive age and newborn and children, who are most commonly and adversely affected.
- The public health science has generated evidence that it is a vicious cycle of under-nutrition which starts at the time of pregnancy (in mother’s womb) and continues to affect the newborn for the rest of the life and for many generations