Hunger and Nutrition Issues – GHI, GNI, etc.

Global Nutrition Report, 2020


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Global Nutrition Report, 2020

Mains level : State of Mother-Child health in India

The Global Nutrition Report 2020 has stated that India is among 88 countries that are likely to miss global nutrition targets by 2025.

UPSC may puzzle you by asking a prelim question like-

With reference to the Global Nutrition Report, which of the following is/are a Global Nutrition Targets?

Visit this link for more graphics related to India:

About the Global Nutrition Report

  • The GNR is a report card on the world’s nutrition—globally, regionally, and country by country—and on efforts to improve it.
  • It is an independently produced annual stock-take of the state of the world’s nutrition. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative, consisting of a Stakeholder Group, Independent Expert Group and Report Secretariat.
  • It was conceived following the first Nutrition for Growth Initiative Summit (N4G) in 2013 and was first published in 2014.
  • The report tracks global nutrition targets on maternal, infant and young child nutrition and on diet-related Non-Communicable Diseases adopted by member states of the WHO as well as governments’ delivery against their commitments.

India would miss the targets

  • According to the Global Nutrition Report 2020, India will miss targets for all four nutritional indicators for which there is data available, i.e.

1) Stunting among under-5 children,

2) Anaemia among women of reproductive age,

3) Childhood overweight and

4) Exclusive breastfeeding

What are Global nutrition targets?

  • In 2012, the World Health Assembly identified six nutrition targets for maternal, infant and young child nutrition to be met by 2025. They are:

1) Reducing stunting by 40% in children under 5 years age

2) Reducing anaemia by 50% among women in the age group of 19-49 years

3) Ensuring a 30% reduction in low-birth-weight

4) Ensuring no increase in childhood overweight,

5) Increasing the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months up to at least 50% and

6) Reducing and maintaining childhood wasting to less than 5%.

Data on Underweight children

  • Between 2000 and 2016, rates of underweight have decreased from 66.0% to 58.1% for boys and 54.2% to 50.1% in girls.
  • However, this is still high compared to the average of 35.6% for boys and 31.8% for girls in Asia.
  • In addition, 37.9% of children fewer than 5 years are stunted and 20.8% are wasted, compared to the Asia average of 22.7% and 9.4% respectively.
  • One in two women of reproductive age is anaemic, while at the same time the rate of overweight and obesity continues to rise, affecting almost a fifth of the adults, at 21.6% of women and 17.8% of men.

Data about India

  • Stunting and wasting among children

    • Data: 37.9% of children under 5 years are stunted and 20.8% are wasted, compared to the Asia average of 22.7% and 9.4% respectively. 
  •  Inequity:
      • India is identified as among the three worst countries, along with Nigeria and Indonesia, for steep within-country disparities in stunting, where the levels varied four-fold across communities.
      • For example, Stunting level in Uttar Pradesh is over 40% and their rate among individuals in the lowest income group is more than double those in the highest income group at 22.0% and 50.7%, respectively.
      • In addition, stunting prevalence is 10.1% higher in rural areas compared to urban areas.
  • Overweight and Obesity
    • Data: Rate of overweight and obesity continues to rise, affecting almost a fifth of the adults, at 21.6% of women and 17.8% of men.
    • Inequity: There are nearly double as many obese adult females than there are males (5.1% compared to 2.7%).
  • Anaemia
    • One in two women of reproductive age is anaemic.

Inequities in Malnutrition

  • The report emphasises on the link between malnutrition and different forms of inequity, such as those based on geographic location, age, gender, ethnicity, education and wealth malnutrition in all its forms.
  • Inequity is a cause of malnutrition — both under-nutrition and overweight, obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases.
  • Inequities in food and health systems exacerbate inequalities in nutrition outcomes that in turn can lead to more inequity, perpetuating a vicious cycle, says the report.

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