India has a big malnutrition problem and this is arguably at the root of a lot of India's health concerns. The malnutrition problem affects everyone, but the poor rural population suffers the most. Let's see who these people are and how this affects them.
Farmers in India are not getting enough calories to carry out the kind of work they are expected to. Farmwork is strenuous and demanding and therefore requires a more wholesome diet to take care of their nutritional needs. Farmers are the foot soldiers in India's war against malnutrition, their decisions affect the food intake of the rest of the country. The mortality rate of Indian farmers is already alarming due to an increase in suicides due to their financial problems, adding health to those makes thing much worse.
Did you know that India is having its own refugee crisis? Migrants entering the country from Bangladesh are suffering from malnutrition. This is mainly because they come to India with little or no money and are forced to live in pitiable conditions, home to diseases and infections. Adding to this, their meals lack a lot of necessary nutrients. However, the refugee problem runs way deeper than just 'nutrition'- it's a huge social development problem. But figuring out the basic 'food' problem seems like a good place to start.
Pregnant rural women often die at the time of the birth of their child. This is mainly because of the health problems that arise due to the lack of a proper diet. It causes their bodies to weaken, making way for a lot of complications for the baby and for themselves - because if a mother is unhealthy, chances are that either her baby will be unhealthy. It's no wonder India ranks worst in the world in terms of infant mortality rate. Speaking of...
Socio-demographic conditions have a huge impact on the health conditions of people, especially infants (6 months to 59 months). Malnutrition at such a young age can heighten the burden of poverty pushing the individual into an unhealthy lifestyle. Overall, the neonatal deaths in India are 0.75 million per year, which is the highest for any country in the world.
56% of adolescent girls are anemic and a major chunk of them are deficient in iron and folic acid adding to their nutritional woes. Anaemia is not an isolated problem but can adversely affect the growing girl’s resistance to diseases, cognitive development and work productivity. As if Indian women did not have enough to worry about as it is, second to infants, they are also the group largest group affected by India's malnutrition problem.
India’s sher-de-puttar take sports and their diet very seriously. A happy observation is that most of our sportspersons are very conscious of what they eat and how much they eat. For a sportsperson eating just the right amount is extremely essential. However, the real question is whether they are getting enough nutrients as compared to other sportspersons from other countries, their contenders. The ‘desi’ meal is actually not considered very nutritious. Even though the elite sports stars get their fair share of nutrients, they don't get enough compared to those from other nations. Maybe that's another reason for why we're lagging behind?