Date Published: March 15, 2011
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Author(s): K. Srinath Reddy
Abstract: K. Srinath Reddy discusses a new research study by S. V. Subramanian and colleagues that found no strong evidence of recent economic growth in India being associated with a reduction in child undernutrition.
Partial Text: India’s rapid economic growth, after the initiation of market-oriented reforms two decades ago, has been the subject of considerable international attention. However, this accelerated economic growth has not been matched by marked improvements in many of the key indicators of health. Not only are the rates of infant and maternal mortality lagging behind the Millennium Development Goals, but the level of undernutrition among children is appallingly high. Even if there is a lag time for improvements in the economic status of countries to be reflected in better health indicators at the population level, child nutrition should be one of the earliest and highly sensitive indicators of economic growth favourably impacting health. Yet, this has not happened in India, where average calorie intake has declined over the last 25 years .