Global Nutrition Report (GNR) 2021


    In Context

    • India has made no progress on anaemia and childhood wasting according to the 2021 Global Nutrition Report (GNR, 2021).  

    About the Global Nutrition Report

    • The Global Nutrition Report was conceived following the first Nutrition for Growth Initiative Summit (N4G) in 2013 as a mechanism for tracking the commitments made by 100 stakeholders spanning governments, aid donors, civil society, the UN and businesses.
    • It is the world’s leading independent assessment of the state of global nutrition. 
    • It is data-led and produced each year to cast a light on progress and challenges
    • It also evaluates the impact of poor diets on human health and the planet, assesses the nutrition financing landscape and provides a comprehensive overview of reporting on past Nutrition for Growth commitments.
    • Aims 
      • To inspire governments, donors, civil society organisations, businesses and others to act to end malnutrition in all its forms. 

    Major findings of the report

    • Globally, most countries are off track to meet five out of six global maternal, infant and young children nutrition (MIYCN) targets, on stunting, wasting, low birth weight, anaemia and childhood overweight.
      • They are also off track for meeting all diet-related non-communicable disease (NCD) targets, on salt intake, raised blood pressure, adult obesity and diabetes.
        • only countries on course to meet both raised blood pressure and diabetes targets are a few high-income Western countries. 
    • Data Analyis :
      • Worldwide, 149.2 million children under 5 years of age are stunted, 45.4 million are wasted and 38.9 million are overweight. 
        • Over 40% of all men and women (2.2 billion people) are now overweight or obese. 
        • There are countries showing some promising progress.
          •  For example, of the 194 countries assessed, 105 are on track to meet the target for tackling childhood overweight and over a quarter are on track to meet stunting and wasting targets.
        • However, anaemia levels are showing no progress or worsening in 161 countries.
      • Diet-related disease and mortality rates are large and increasing in most regions.
        •  Deaths attributable to poor diets have grown by 15% since 2010 – more rapidly than population growth – and are now responsible for more than 12 million NCD deaths in adults
        • The proportion of premature deaths attributed to dietary risks is highest in Northern America and Europe (31% each), and lowest but also at notable levels in Africa (17%). 
    • All around the world, too few countries are on course to meet nutrition targets

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    • Other Issues 
      • Key global targets and systematic monitoring exclude diet, despite its health and environmental impacts. 
        • Current targets do not explicitly address poor diets and their quality (with the exception of salt levels) as the underlying cause of malnutrition in all its forms. 
        • Additionally, no global targets are set to address micronutrient deficiencies (with the exception of anaemia), despite their importance for health and development. 
        • There is also no specific target that captures malnutrition among children and adolescents. 
      • Covid-19 pandemic 
        • An estimated additional 155 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty globally, as a result of the pandemic, and people who are obese or have other diet-related chronic diseases are more vulnerable to Covid-19. 
          • This certainly adds to the challenge of meeting global nutrition targets.
    • Lower-income countries continue to have the lowest intakes of key health-promoting foods such as fruits and vegetables and the highest levels of underweight.
    • Higher-income countries have the highest intakes of foods with high health and environmental impacts, including red meat, processed meat and dairy, and the highest levels of overweight and obesity.
    • No region is on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goal of reducing premature mortality from NCDs by 2030. 
    • The harmful impacts of our diets on the planet are alarming and increasing. 
      • According to our new estimates, global food demand is now creating more than a third (35%) of all greenhouse emissions and using substantial and rising amounts of environmental resources. 
    • The financial costs of addressing poor diets and malnutrition have risen while resources are falling, but the costs of inaction are far greater.

    Indian Scenario  

    • Over half of Indian women in the age group 15-49 years are anaemic.
      • There has been a rise in anaemic Indian women since 2016.
    • India is also among 23 countries that have made no progress or are worsening on reducing ‘childhood wasting’.  
      • Wasting refers to children whose weight is low-for-their height.
    • Over 17 per cent of Indian children under 5 years of age are affected. 
      • This figure is much higher than the average for Asia where close to 9 per cent of children are affected.  
    • India is ‘off-course in meeting 7 of the 13 global nutrition targets.
      • These include sodium intake, raised blood pressure (both men and women), obesity (both men and women) and diabetes (both men and women).
    • Some 6.2 per cent of adult (aged 18 years and over) women and 3.5 per cent of adult men are living with obesity in the country.
    • India is among 53 countries ‘on course’ to meet the target for stunting
      • But over 34 per cent of children under 5 years of age are still affected
        • This figure is higher than average for Asia, where close to 22 per cent are affected by stunting.
    • The country is also among 105 countries that are ‘on course’ to meet the target for ‘childhood overweight’ and among 53 countries ‘on course’ to meet the target for ‘exclusive breastfeeding’
      • Some 58 per cent of infants in the age group 0-5 months are exclusively breastfed in India.
    • India does not have adequate data on the prevalence of ‘low birth weight’.


    • Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of existing nutrition investments can increase the impact of available resources on malnutrition
    • Every region needs large-scale dietary changes to achieve healthy and sustainable diets that tackle malnutrition in all its forms while preserving planetary health.
    • There is an urgent need for all stakeholders to commit to strong, SMART actions in the N4G Year of Action, and to ensure that diet-related goals form part of their commitments.
    • Policy initiatives are urgently needed to transform food systems, increase intake of health-promoting foods, and reduce animal-based foods, to ensure diets are healthy and sustainable for people and the planet.
    • Global nutrition monitoring must expand to key targets for improving diets and health that go beyond micronutrient deficiencies, hunger and excess weight.
    • Better and more granular data is needed, including on financing, to fully understand the current state of nutrition, inform effective action, and ensure that impact can be measured and monitored.
    • Healthy diets that are also sustainable must be better integrated into global nutrition targets, and monitored, in recognition of their vital importance in tackling malnutrition and protecting our environment.

    Measures Taken to Tackle Malnutrition in India 

    • Poshan Abhiyan
      • It was approved in 2017.
      • It is a multi-ministerial convergence mission with the vision to ensure the attainment of malnutrition free India by 2022.
      • The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) is implementing POSHAN Abhiyaan.
    • Integrated Child Development Services
      • It was launched on 2nd October 1975 and it represents one of the world’s largest and unique programmes for early childhood care and development.
      • The beneficiaries under the Scheme are children in the age group of 0-6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers
      • Ministry of Women and Child Development is the implementing agency
    • Matritva Sahyog Yojana
      • Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) is a Conditional Maternity Benefit (CMB) Scheme launched in 2010
      • The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development as a centrally sponsored scheme.
      • It was launched for pregnant and lactating women to improve their health and nutrition status to better-enable the environment by providing cash incentives to pregnant and nursing mothers.
    • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana
      • The centrally sponsored scheme was launched in 2017.
      • Rs. 6,000 is transferred directly to the bank accounts of pregnant women and lactating mothers for availing better facilities for their delivery to compensate for wage loss and is eligible for the first child of the family.
      • Implementation of the scheme is closely monitored by the central and state governments through the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana-Common Application Software (PMMVY-CAS).
    • Mid-Day Meal Scheme
      • The Mid-day Meal Scheme is a school meal programme in India designed to better the nutritional standing of school-age children
      • It covers all school students studying in Classes 1 to 8 of government schools, government-aided schools, special training centres, including madrasas supported under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan. 
    • National Food Security Mission
      • It was launched in 2007-08 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
      • It was based on the recommendations of the agriculture sub-committee of the National Development Council (NDC).
      • It focuses on the sustainable increase in the production of targeted crops through area expansion and productivity enhancement.
    • National Nutrition Mission
      • It is the government’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
      • Aim: To reduce stunting and wasting by 2 per cent per year (total 6 per cent until 2022) among children and anaemia by 3 per cent per year (total 9 per cent until 2022) among children, adolescent girls and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
      • The Ministry of Women and Child Development is the nodal ministry for implementation.
    • National Nutrition Strategy
      • The Strategy aims to reduce all forms of malnutrition by 2030, with a focus on the most vulnerable and critical age groups.
      • The Strategy also aims to assist in achieving the targets identified as part of the Sustainable Development Goals related to nutrition and health.

    Source: DTE