A recent report released by McKinsey Global Institute brings out a very scary fact about the state of nutrition among women and children in India as a large number of them do not have access to a rich diet. It says that a diverse diet including fat, milk, eggs, fruits and vegetables is out of reach for many. Only 55% women consume milk or dairy products on a weekly basis, only 40% eat fruit at least once a week and only 32% eat eggs at least once a week.
A lack of proper diet causes chronic malnourishment and this is seen more in the poor, the report added. Diets low in Vitamin D, Vitamin A, iron and iodine lead to ailments such as anemia, night blindness, diabetes and stunted growth.
The chart below highlights where India stands in comparison to other countries.
Incidentally, India also runs one of the largest food subsidy programmes in the world. In 2011-12, the government directed Rs 77,000 crore ($16 billion) towards this programme.