Telangana lags behind in nutritional parameters, survey finds
HYDERABAD: Telangana performs poorly in several nutrition-related parameters for children as well as adults, with the state ranking lowest among southern states in several categories according to National Family & Health Survey-5 (NFHS) data .
Ahead of World Nutrition Week which runs from September 1-7, experts say the main reason for nutritional deficiencies in
Telangana is their diet and lack of awareness.
For example, the prevalence of anemia in children aged 6 months to 59 years
month age group is 70 percent in the state, and is the highest among
the southern states. The prevalence of anemia in women is 57.6%, the
second highest after PA (58.8%).
The number of children who receive a minimum acceptable diet, i.e.
they receive breast milk according to the standards, have a minimum of dietary diversity
and meal frequency, is the lowest (with PA) at only 9%.
Scientific Director at the National Institute of Nutrition Dr A. Lakshmaiah
said the unfavorable parameters were not due to backwardness or poverty,
but because of nutritional illiteracy. He said most of most meals were
rice and there was a lack of dietary diversity.
“Another reason for the prevalence of anemia may be the consumption of certain foods
having anti-nutrients that prevent the absorption of iron. For example, in
rural areas, some people eat tamarind daily, which can inhibit iron
absorption,” he said.
Dr Lakshmaiah said the Telangana government is taking initiatives in this
respect by providing KCR nutritional kits to pregnant and lactating women
anganwadi centers and Balamrutham (a weaning food prepared with wheat, chana dal, powdered milk, oil and sugar) to infants.
Head of Nutrition at Gleneagles Global Hospitals Dr Atluri
Naga Malleshwari said that being mainly rice eaters, the use of millets was on
the underside at Telangana. “Because of this, we lack
micronutrients and proteins. I think we’ve strayed from tradition
dietary habits, which once included a lot of millet and whole grains which
are rich in fiber and iron. But today we switched to rice. There are
little awareness, but it will take some time,” said Dr Malleshwari.
She added that obesity in Hyderabad was among the highest in South India
cities due to bad eating habits. “We are famous for our high fat foods,
our biryanis and kada chammach chai. We have our own traditional ways of
eat, but we have to fight them,” she said.