Impact of Malnutrition on Children

Malnutrition is a major problem at the crossroads of health, poverty alleviation and food security challenges. In 2019–21, there were 56 crore persons, or around 40.6% of the population, who reported moderate or severe food insecurity, according to the SOFI data dated July 6. 

A little over 20.3% of people experienced food insecurity in the years 2018 to 20. In 2019–21, this percentage grew to 22.3%. India is home to around 37% of the world’s hungry people. Food security issues have a significant impact on children who experience short term and long term impacts on their health and life opportunities.

Impacts on Children

Early and Visible Impacts

Wasting : Wasting can result from malnutrition. A person suffering from wasted growth is extremely underweight and suffering from acute malnutrition. Wasting might even endanger your life.

Stunting : The growth gets stunted when in the crucial first 1,000 days of life, when growth happens more quickly than at any other period undernutrition is left untreated. Stunting hampers a child’s mental and physical growth since it is a chronic disorder.

Other Impacts : Various diet-related diseases such as vitamin deficiencies and anaemia result from undernutrition. One’s immune system grows weaker and the vaccines too stop working on such people. The end result is the higher incidence of infections and chronic long-term illnesses,

Long-term Impacts

It is evident that micronutrient deficiencies in children, adolescents, and women have a harmful impact on their lifestyle and health. In addition, these deficiencies can also perpetuate malnutrition and impair health, educational attainment, and increase the likelihood of low birth weight children.

There is a great impact of malnutrition on children’s future development as well. They are not able to reach their full height, have lesser cognitive development. Stunting contributes to poverty and people with lesser physical and cognitive development find themselves unable to reach their potential earnable income.