NitiAyog data shows there are approximately three lakh moderately malnourished children in the state till August 2021, of which almost six thousand and two hundred children respectively were in Bengaluru.
By Ekta Jha
12th Feb, 2023
There has been an increase in the number of malnutrition cases in Karnataka as many children are not getting proper nutrition to sustain a healthy body.
Shailja. K, mother of two malnourished children says, “I am a single parent and I am doing a housekeeping job. I have two children and I don’t get enough time to take care of my children. In the evening I work in canteen and give some amount of the canteen food to my children. I don’t have enough money to give my children proper nutritious food and good lifestyle.”
The National Family Health Survey 2020 report shows that currently, thirty-one percent of children in the city are stunted, twenty- nine percent malnourished, fifty- nine percent anaemic and around 4.5 percent are obese.
Naveen Benakappa, a paediatrician says, “Nowadays, both men and women are working that’s why the cases are seen more. Most of them come from lower backgrounds and they cannot afford to give proper nutrition. In such cases, we generally find out about the people not getting proper nutrition and their reason of being malnourished. At our level we also give advice to the parents.”
The doctors generally hope that because of the deficiency of calories and proteins, children are getting malnourished. The survey of nutritional and educational status of migrant construction worker’s children which studied 277 kids from across Bengaluru, also observed stunted growth among 11.2% of them.
Hajra.A, the nutritionist from Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Welfare says, “Malnutrition is mainly increasing as children these days opt for wrong food choices for themselves. Secondly the basic awareness of what, how much and when it should be introduced to the child or whether it should be given or not that is another thing. Basic awareness among mothers and care givers is lacking. They do know what to give to their child but then also they give something which is not appropriate for a child.”
Expert also believes that if we limit milk among school going children and make parents aware that milk is not equivalent to any other healthy food then we can combat malnutrition.