Women and children form the major population in our community, so a lot of emphasis is given to improve and develop the community of women and children. Statistical evidence shows that the position of Indian women is characterized by a declining sex ratio, higher mortality than males from childhood through thirty five years of age, high fertility, poor health status, illiteracy, low participation in the organized work force, increasing concentration in the unorganized sector of work force with no job security, near absence of social support measures such as child care and increasing social and domestic violence.

The major nutritional problem affecting women in India are given below:

  • Protein energy malnutrition (PEM)
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Iodine deficiency anemia
  • Vitamin A deficiency anemia

Along with these nutritional disorders osteoporosis and osteomalacia are also other deficiencies of concern in the recent years.

Protein energy malnutrition (PEM)

The prevalence of PEM is significantly higher among females in South Asia. The consequences of nutritional stunting are particularly severe for females because short stature is a major risk factor for obstetrical complications and maternal mortality.

Iron deficiency anemia:

Extremely high rates are reported for low-income women in tropical areas (30 to 50%) but significantly prevalence ratio (10 to 15%) is reported among higher income women living in temperate zone. Maternal mortality rates are significantly higher anemic women, as are pre-maturity and infant mortality rates.

Iodine deficiency anemia:

Iodine deficiency anemia is more commonly associated with impaired mental function. It results in reduced capacity for physical work and reduced mental efficiency.


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