Malnutrition Across India Has Plummeted By 60 Million–And Most of Asia Has a Similar Success Story

Findings from a recent United Nation report states that the number of undernourished and hungry people in India has declined by 60 million over the last decade, and other Asian regions are also experiencing declines.

India has the second-largest population on earth, but, fortunately, even as the population is growing, the amount of food insecurity is falling.

Considered a leader in authoritative reporting on malnutrition, the UN’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World estimated that the number of undernourished people in India declined by 20%, from 249.4 million in 2004 to 189.2 million in 2019.

Furthermore, the other population powerhouse, China, has experienced similar drops in the rate of malnutrition—as has the entire Asian continent.

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In Central Asia, prevalence of undernourishment has fallen from 11.1% in 2005 to 5.9% in 2019. In the same period in East Asia, there was a 6% drop from 14.1% to 8.3%, while in Southeast Asia it has been cut in half—from 18.5% to 9.2%. Though in some parts of the world the improvements have been seen over decades, these historically communism-ravaged lands have only improved over the last 15 years.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization which sponsored the report, claimed these remarkable developments can be attributed to long-term economic progress and development, and improved access to basic goods and services.

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The report calls on governments such as India and China to pursue nutritional quality in their agriculture policies, and to try and work to reduce food waste, as well as production and transportation costs.

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It also suggests a strategy of supporting local small-scale farmers and ranchers to grow and sell more nutritious foods, and to prioritize children’s nutrition in the most urgent way.

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