Our population is growing. We are poised to the most populated country in the world. However, are we going to be a healthy population? According to studies conducted by National Family Health Survey (NFHS) and also published in ‘Children in India 2012 –A Statistical Appraisal’ by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, 48% of children under age five years are stunted (too short for their age) which indicates that, half of the country’s children are chronically malnourished. Acute malnutrition, as evidenced by wasting, – being too thin for his or her height. 19.8% of children under five years in the country are wasted which indicates that, one out of every five children in India is wasted. 43% of children under age five years are underweight for their age.
While it is true that most of this acute malnutrition happens in Rural areas because of poverty and lack of resources, the story in Urban India is not too different either. 40% of Urban children under the age of 5 have stunted growth (low height for age), 33% have low weight for age and 17% have low weight for height (wasted). One might now argue that these children will be belonging to poor families in the Urban areas.Don’t we just love the concept of ‘This can not happen to me.” AllizHealth’s own statistics more than 50% of Urban kids going to renowned pre-schools were found to have either stunted growth or underweight as per WHO growth charts. It might not necessarily mean health problems in the child but it is very important to monitor the child’s growth. Consistent low growth might be an indication of health problems. To monitor the growth of a child, specially babies and toddlers, WHO has graphs on which a child growth can be mapped and compare it to global growth metrics and parameters.
These graphs are very specific and hence detailed. Here they are. More can be found at WHO website: http://www.who.int/childgrowth/standards/en/
- Body mass index-for-age (BMI-for-age)
You can take print outs of these graphs and monitor your child’s growth on those graphs or you can create a profile for your child on http://www.allizhealth.com and monitor the progress of your child’s growth using systematic tools. You do not have to worry about losing the paper.