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50% of children below age of five undernourished in Haryana

Chandigarh: Malnutrition is widespread among children in Haryana with nearly 50 per cent below the age of five being undernourished, a health official said today.

"According to the National Family Health Survey, 46 per cent children below than 5 years of age are undernourished and 72 per cent children of 6 to 59 months, 82 per cent children of 6-36 months age groups, 56 per cent women and 18 per cent men are anaemic," State's Principal Secretary, Health, Navraj Sandhu said in Panchkula.

 50% of children below age of five undernourished in Haryana

Representational image. AFP

Vitamin A and D deficiencies are widespread, Sandhu said. "Anaemia and vitamin A deficiency are major contributors to the poor immunity, frequent illnesses, poor school performance and mortality," she said, according to an official release here.

Sandhu said it is very important to consume an adequate and a balanced diet, which has enough of fruits and vegetables, especially the leafy vegetables, as these contain vitamins and minerals which are very important for attaining good health in children and making them physically strong and mentally sharp.

Food and Drug Administration Mission Director-cum- Commissioner Dr Rakesh Gupta said, "micronutrients are required in small quantities and are responsible for vital functions of the human body. Their absence critically impacts quality of life and limits the potential for social and economic development."

"While micronutrient deficiencies impact all population groups, those most affected are women and children. Hence, these need to be addressed on a priority basis," he said.

PTI

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Updated Date: Feb 06, 2014 17:16:29 IST