Malnutrition is among India’s most serious development challenges. It contributes significantly to the country’s disease burden. Stunting and under-nutrition continue to be the big challenges.
As per NFHS-5 Phase II (for 14 states and UTs), 35.5% of children below five years were stunted and 32.1 per cent were underweight in 2019-21.
Among the stunted children, 37.3% are in the rural areas as compared to 30.1% in urban areas. If we look at state-wise data, Meghalaya (46.5 per cent), Bihar (42.9%), Uttar Pradesh (39.7%), and Jharkhand (39.6%) have the highest rates of stunting while Sikkim (22.3%) and Puducherry (20%) have the lowest.