In India, Only 1 In 10 Children Aged 6 to 23 Months Gets Adequate Dietby The Daily Eye Team May 12 2017, 3:45 pm Estimated Reading Time: 0 mins, 52 secs
Only one in 10 Indian children aged 6-23 months gets “adequate diet”, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of data from National Family Health Survey 2015-16 (NFHS-4). Consequently, 35.7 per cent of children below five years of age are underweight, according to NFHS-4 data. After birth, between 0-6 months, breastmilk alone is sufficient to meet an infant’s requirement for food and water. Only 55 per cent children are exclusively breastfed for six months, according to NFHS-4, a rise of nine per cent from 2005-06 (NFHS-3). The period of transition from exclusive breastfeeding to family foods, referred to as complementary feeding, covers a child from 6-23 months and is a vulnerable period. It is the time when malnutrition starts in many infants, contributing to the high prevalence of malnutrition in children under two years of age. Optimal breastfeeding in the first year and complementary feeding practices together can prevent almost one-fifth of deaths in children under five years of age, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.