Recently, the fifth edition of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) was released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The survey, in its first phase, collected data from 22 states and Union Territories for the year 2019-20.
The data indicates that child stunting has increased in 13 states, including developed states like Kerala, Gujarat and Maharashtra. These four factors – wasting, stunting, underweight and overweight – are used to determine the level of malnutrition in the country. Child wasting, which is when children have low weight for their height, has increased in 12 states, with Maharashtra and Gujarat on top. The number of underweight children increased in 16 states and the number of overweight children increased in 20 states.
In the wake of this survey, The Wire attempts to determine the factors that have led to a rise in malnutrition.