Malnutrition and Obesity co-exist in this place; a rich-poor divide

The children in Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh are grappling with two food problems that are on opposite ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, poor children are battling malnutrition due to lack of access to nutritious food and on the other hand rich children are battling obesity due to over consumption of junk food.

Data shows nearly 10 percent of children in the district are malnourished; three percent are severely malnourished. The situation is quite grim and often a result of early marriage and motherhood among girls, coupled with poor education and dismal sanitation.

Rich children on the other hand are victims of consuming too much fast food and aerated drinks; and not having any physical exertion thanks to their attachment to television, computers and mobile phones. Doctors say they risk getting diabetes and heart disease in their 30s and 40s itself.

Schools are seeing both kinds of children. ASD Public School says one and a half percent of its children are obese and one percent is malnourished. It has started a ‘fruit’ break before the regular lunch break with a view to encouraging healthy eating.

Read more on this story in the Amar Ujala, here: