A new study based on a survey of the height and weight of more than one lakh children across six States has found that as many as 42 per cent of under-fives are severely or moderately underweight and that 59 per cent of them suffer from moderate to severe stunting, meaning their height is much lower than the median height-for-age of the reference population.
The report also found that of the stunted children, about half are severely stunted and about half of all children are underweight or stunted by the time they are two years.
However, the number of underweight children has decreased from 53 to 42 per cent in the past seven years – the last study on the subject was done in 2004.
The 100 Focus Districts are located across Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh – states which perform the worst on child nutrition.
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