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Report Finds 42% Of Children Under 5 Malnourished In India; Prime Minister Deems Child Malnutrition ‘National Shame’

“Roughly 42 percent of all Indian children under age five suffer from malnutrition, a sobering reminder of the persistence of poverty and hunger in the world’s largest democracy, according to a major report released” on Tuesday by the Naandi Foundation, an independent charitable organization, the New York Times reports. “Levels of malnutrition, while still high, have fallen by 20 percent in the last seven years,” the newspaper notes (Yardley, 1/10). “The Hunger and Malnutrition Survey monitored over 100,000 children in 112 districts across nine states in the country from October 2010 to February of last year,” the Associated Press writes (1/10).

According to BBC News, “Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has branded malnutrition among children a ‘national shame,'” emphasizing “the need for a more integrated approach towards tackling hunger in the country” (1/10). “Parliament is considering legislation, known as the Food Security Bill, that would expand the number of people eligible for subsidized food and establish a constitutional right to food … but critics warn of exorbitant costs and say the effectiveness would be uncertain because of the government’s inadequate delivery system,” the New York Times notes (1/10). A video of Singh launching the report is available from CNN/IBN Live (1/10).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.