SME Times News Bureau | 22 Jan, 2018
India loses about 4 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) to
malnutrition and the trend can be reversed by focusing "on production
diversity as well as food fortification at a macro level", a research
paper revealed on Sunday.
According to a joint paper published by industry body Assocham and consultancy
firm EY, nearly four per cent of the GDP is lost due to different forms of
malnutrition and that "women and children deserve a better deal in
The report outlined that the country hosts 50 per cent of the world's
The paper quoted data from the National Family Health Survey-4 which showed
that close to 60 per cent of children aged between 6 and 59 months are anaemic.
"It is only about 10 per cent of the country's total children who are
receiving adequate diet," the research report said.
"The women and girl child, for whom the NDA Government has launched
flagship programmes, are no better in terms of their daily nutrition intake.
About 55 per cent of non-pregnant women and 58 per cent of pregnant women aged
between 15-49 years are anaemic."
Commenting upon the finding, Assocham's Secretary General D.S. Rawat said the
government needs to pursue policies which "focus on removing health and
social inequities. Programmes and policies that aim to address the nutrition
burden present a double-win situation".
On the remedy-front, the paper said that in order to cater to the large unmet
needs of micro-nutrients, "it is imperative to focus on production
diversity as well as food fortification at a macro level".
"For instance, millets are three to five times more nutritious than rice
and wheat in terms of proteins, minerals and vitamins. They are cost effective
crops as well; yet considered as poor people's crop while rice and wheat are
preferred over them," the paper noted.
"Millets are rich in Vitamin B, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc
and are gluten-free. They are suitable for people with gluten allergies or
those with high blood sugar levels."