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How healthy are Indians? An analysis on National Nutrition Week

Out of 7 billion people worldwide, 2 billion suffer from malnourishment, hypertension and disproportionate weight. It is an epidemic. Research: Saurabh Goenka; Visuals: Ishu Vaid

Malnutrition in the world in 2016

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined malnutrition as deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person's intake of energy and/or nutrients. Where around 3 out of 10 people in the world suffer from malnutrition, more than 11 per cent of the world population faces calorie deficiency.

Malnutrition in adults

Malnutrition is not limited to children but has a severe impact on adults too. As per UNICEF, 2 out of every 5 adults in the world are either obese or overweight. And, 1 out of 12 adults suffers from type 2 diabetes which is a matter of grave concern.

Malnutrition in children

More than 37 per cent of the children below 5 years in the world suffer from malnutrition and one-fourth of the children are too short in height for their age. Another 91 million children weigh less or more than normal, leaving just 6 out of 10 children properly nourished.

Stunted children in India

India performs much worse than the world average in terms of stunting. While globally, 24 per cent of children are stunted, in India 38 per cent of them fall into this category. The situation in rural India is even more depressing, with more than 4 in every 10 children shorter in height than normal.

Wasted children in India

In the criteria of wasting also, India is much above the world average of 7.5 per cent. Every 3 out of 10 children in India are either wasted or severely wasted. The situation in the rural, as well as the urban areas of the country, is almost similar.

Underweight children in India

Around 36 per cent of children in India do not weight enough as per their age. The main reason is the deficiency of vital nutrients. The condition in rural India is worse than urban India.

Underweight vs overweight adults in India

The condition of malnutrition in adults is also of great concern, as almost 40 per cent of the males and 44 per cent of females are either above or below their ideal weight. It can be observed from the figures where the female population is more affected than the male population

Hypertension and blood sugar in Indian adults

High blood pressure and high blood sugar which are known as lifestyle disease have been spreading rapidly among the Indian adults. While high blood sugar is prevalent in both males and females in equal proportion, high blood pressure is more diagnosed among males.

Daily dietary allowance for Indians

The nutrition chart above provides a sample combination of different components required to remain healthy. However, the calorie and fat requirements go up or down based on high or low activity levels respectively.