Although exclusive breastfeeding of infants in the first six months has increased across the country, from 55% in 2015-16 to 64% in 2019-21, anaemia among children and women remains a concern, with more than half of them anaemic in all 14 states and UTs surveyed in Phase 2 of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS).

The number of anaemic children under the age of five increased to 67.1%, up from 58.6% in the previous survey. In India, two out of every three children under the age of five are anaemic. In India, the percentage of obese children and adults has increased during the last five years.

Anaemic women rose from 53.1% to 57%, and anaemic teenage females (between 15 and 19 years) increased from 54.1% to 59.1%. Men who were anaemic increased from 22.7% to 25%.

Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Odisha, Puducherry, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand were among the states and UTs surveyed in this phase, according to a statement from the health ministry.

According to the data, the number of non-breastfeeding children aged 6 to 23 months who had a sufficient diet decreased to 12.7% from 14.3%. The percentage of children under the age of five who are extremely malnourished has decreased from 7.5% to 3.7%. Wasting is a sign of severe malnutrition. Malnourished youngsters increased to 3.4% from 2.1% in the previous survey.

At the national level, certain child nutrition metrics showed a little improvement. Stunting has decreased from 38% to 36%, wasting has decreased from 21% to 19%, and underweight has decreased from 36% to 32%. At the national level, the full immunisation effort among children aged 12 to 23 months has seen a significant increase from 62% to 76%.