Srinagar: In a startling revelation, a study by NITI Aayog has revealed that more than 29 lakhs of Women in Jammu and Kashmir were anemic, under-weight while over 15 lakhs of children below five years of age were suffering from acute malnutrition.
The figures have come to fore in a State Nutrition Profile of Jammu and Kashmir conducted by NITI Aayog wherein it has depicted the malnutrition among children and women.
The state nutrition profile was conducted for 19 states including J&K UT. The study has been conducted in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Indian Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), UNICEF, and Institute of Economic Growth (IEG).
The NITI Aayog study has revealed that 29,57,164 women in J&K were anemic and under-weight while 15,50,267 children below the age of five years were suffering from acute malnutrition.
As per the official figures around 1,550,267 children below the age of five years are suffering from acute malnutrition related ailments in J&K.
The figures reveal that there are around 251393 stunted children below five years of age besides 625519 anemic children in J&K. Anantnag district has topped the list with 27578 stunted children followed by Srinagar which has 24,680 stunted children.
“Kupwara district has 21,982, Jammu 20,718 and Budgam 19,025 stunted children below the age of five years,” the study said.
Stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation. Children are defined as stunted if their height-for-age is more than two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards median
Meanwhile, out of the 6,25,519 anemic children below five years of age, Anantnag has again topped the list with 69,576 such children followed by Kupwara 62,491, Budgam 54,203 Srinagar 51,730 and Baramulla with 48,307 anemic children. Anemia is a common problem in children. A child who has anemia does not have enough red blood cells or hemoglobin.
Notably the children in J&K are also witnessing wasting and the number has reached 183259. Also, there are 94091 severely wasted children in J&K as well.
Child wasting refers to a child who is too thin for his or her height and is the result of recent rapid weight loss or the failure to gain weight. A child who is moderately or severely wasted has an increased risk of death, but treatment is possible.
Anantnag district has 24350 wasted children which is the highest in J&K. Anantnag is followed by Kupwara at 22158, Srinagar 13911, Baramulla 13902 and Jammu 13812.
There are also 202131 underweight children below the age of five years in J&K as well. Anantnag tops the list with 27675 underweight children followed by Kupwara 22512, Rajouri 16039, Budgam 14623 and Jammu with 13505 underweight children.
There are around 2957164 women in the age group of 15-49 years.
Out of the total, around 193874 women in the age group of 15-49 years are underweight in J&K. Baramulla tops the list with 32372 with such women followed by Jammu-21545, Srinagar-14648, Anantnag-13044 and Bandipora-12389 of such women.
There are also 2598620 women in the non-pregnant category who are anemic with Jammu district leading with 349,848 anemic women followed by Anantnag-240841, Baramulla-223242, Srinagar-219726 and Kupwara-164023.
There are also 164670 anemic women in the pregnant category in which Srinagar has 37940 anemic women, Jammu-30289, Baramulla-13105, Anantnag-12408 and Udhampur-7306.