Mumbai, Oct 7 (IANS) An Indian-Australian workshop on the ‘triple burden of malnutrition’ and how it is an emerging public health concern will be held here on Monday, an official said on Sunday.
The workshop is being organiSed by University of Sydney, Australia, and International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai, said the official.
The ‘triple burden’ implies co-existence of under-nutrition, over-nutrition and micro-nutrient deficiencies (hidden hunger) among people and evidence points to the rapid emergence of overweight associated with other increasing non-communicable diseases in the country, said Chandana Maitra, of the University of Sydney’s School of Economics.
As far as under-nutrition is concerned, despite improvement in its indicators like height-weight, magnitudes are high with anaemia being a persistent problem.
However, improvements in diet quality are not high and micro-nutrient intakes remain low since it’s increasingly difficult for the poor to have a rich diet comprising fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat, she said.
The problems are compounded by ‘nutrition transition’ implying radical shifts in diet patterns of low and high income countries, from traditional starchy staples to diets high in total fat, cholesterol, sugar and other refined carbohydrates and low in fibre.
This places immense economic costs from the adverse health consequences and impaired cognitive development ranging from increased risk of death or serious chronic health conditions.
For the developing countries, Maitra said nutritional deprivation in early life poses one of the greatest obstacles in the war against poverty by perpetuating the cycle of ‘poverty-poor nutrition-low human capital’.
The issue is considered a major challenge in India’s progress to Sustainable Development Goals of “no poverty, zero hunger, good health and gender equality” with a dearth of proper understanding of its nature, extent and causes.
IIPS Officiating Director L. L. Singh will welcome the prominent speakers including IIPS’ Sayeed Unisa, University of North Carolina’s Barry Popkin, Delhi School of Economics’ J. V. Meenakshi, Indian Statistical Institute’s Farzana Afridi, Institute of Economic Growth’s Indrani Gupta, Unicef India’s Vani Sethi, Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Sangeeta Bansal, Deputy Commissioner in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Sila Deb.
According to Maitra, this problem was not limited to the low-lower-middle income countries but also at risk are the upper-high income countries and the workshop will come out with an action plan to tackle these issues.