Malnutrition responsible for 15% premature deaths: Report
New Delhi: In a shocking revelation, it has come to notice that despite decades of investment in prevention and treatment programmes, child and maternal nutrition remains the leading risk factor for poor health in India.
According to the latest study report of Lancet, malnutrition is responsible for 15 per cent of all ill health and premature death in 2016, while unsafe water, sanitation, and hand-washing accounted for 5 per cent. Apart from others, the study, which is first comprehensive analysis of health in India, has been funded by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Department of Health Research (DHR), Ministry of Health and Family Affairs.
"The burden of malnutrition remains 3 times higher among states in the earlier stages of development such as Bihar and Rajasthan in comparison to the most advanced such as Goa and Kerala," the study stated.
The report further highlighted that other highly preventable risks such as poor diet, diets high in salt and low in vegetables and fruit, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high body mass index are contributing to the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
"All together these factors accounted for almost a quarter of poor health in 2016, which is over two times more than in 1990. Worryingly, the burden of these risks has increased in every state since 1990, with generally higher rates in states in more advanced stages of epidemiological transition such as Punjab and Tamil Nadu," the Lancet report said.
The report also highlighted the need to pay special attention to exposure to air pollution, which has increased by around 17 per cent since 1990.
"Ambient outdoor and household air pollution together are responsible for almost 10 per cent of the total disease burden in 2016. The burden is highest in the northern states, with Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar having levels of premature death and ill health due to air pollution around 3 times higher than Kerala and Goa," the report said.