Scenario of under nutrition among under five years children in India and its states: findings from National Family Health Survey

Piyush Kumar Mishra, Vijay Kumar Mishra


Background: The status of undernutrition among under 5years children living in India is a public health concern. Our study identified contributed factors of undernutrition and current scenario of undernutrition among children living across Indian states. Objective of the study was to know the current scenario of undernutrition among under 5 years children across Indian states and to examine the associated factors with this.

Methods: This study used data from 4th round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) that was coordinated by International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) during 2015-16 under the ministry of health and family welfare, GoI. Multiple logistic regression model was done to study the association between outcome (under nutrition) and socio-economic and bio-medical predictors.

Results: This study identified four empowered action group (EAG) states as the problem states because of the greater number of undernourished children living in these states than other Indian states. The children whose mothers were fully exposed to mass media like newspapers/radio/television, have lower prevalence of undernutrition (50.6%). The results of multiple logistic regression revealed that the children belonging to poorest households were 2 times more likely [OR-CI, 2.35 (2.27-2.44)] to be undernourished than those belonging to richest.

Conclusions: Undernutrition can be reduced through awareness with the help of mass media, providing higher education to women and reducing socio-economic inequalities. It is necessary to re-think about nutritional policy with respect to children under 5 years and frame a full proof implementation plan to reduce undernutrition in India. 


Problem states, Stunted, Underweight, Wasted

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