Different Effects Of A Lack Of Effective Nutrition Programs On Children
Evaluating the effects of a lack of effective nutrition programs on the economic development of India
A famous proverb states that our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation (Mandela, 1995). It communicates that children are an asset who will contribute to higher economic yield in the future. However, though 43% of the population in the Republic of India is below the age of 22, its shoulders a third of the global child malnutrition burden. Therefore, more than 60 million children constitute an untapped source of wasted human capital (UNICEF, 2013). A healthy childhood constructs the stage for healthy adulthood and thus positively improves major development indexes such as decreased child mortality rate stabilizing the age distribution in the population, and enhancement in traditional lifestyle choices i.e other health sanitation, literacy, and a reduction in the poverty cycle. Additionally, it directly contributes to increased market productivity, as there is a higher tendency to actively participate in the formal labor market and earn relatively higher wages (Franca & Reinhardt, 2011). Ending child malnutrition is one of several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals set to be achieved by 2030, however, India’s national efforts have been minimal (UNICEF, 2013).
This paper argues that nutrition is an effective strategy that will not only combat malnutrition but additionally contribute to enhancing tiers of human development, and thus must be adopted effectively, in the case of India. To demonstrate that degree, the essay will evaluate the correlational association between nutrition and three different development indexes such as education, labor productivity, child mortality rate, and the ramifications that arise alongside. Development indexes are statistical indexes that are utilized by the international organizations and the UN to rank countries on their level of social and economic development. Thus, this paper will explore the impact of nutrition on the three different development indexes by exploring local case studies in India and then discuss operational problems of the dominant nutrition program, Integrated Child Development Scheme, and conclude by highlighting the substantial degree nutrition programs will play in reducing malnutrition and hence increasing economic development.
1.1 Definition of Malnutrition
Within the above context, it is reasonable to ask what is malnutrition? Malnutrition is a condition referring to ‘deficiencies or imbalances in an individual’s intake of energy or micronutrients’(WHO, 2016, para. 1). It is the outcome of faulty breastfeeding practices resulting in inadequate nutrition intake, exposure to repeated infection, and lack of sanitation practices. It is associated with long-lasting ramifications such as impaired neurocognitive development and decreased immune functioning (Mathad, 2013). Furthermore, the primary factor that stands between children and their access to nutrition is socio-economic inequality. With one-third of families stuck in the clutches of income poverty, earning underpaid salaries.