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Mother’s “nutrition”- a powerful “nation

In India, approximately 25% of middle-aged women are malnourished. This figure includes women of reproductive age who give birth to malnourished children. This results in a never-ending intergenerational cycle of malnutrition: “undernourished mother—undernourished baby—undernourished mother,” which weakens the nation’s strength.

Malnutrition is common when adolescent girls begin childbearing at a young age because they are not yet fully mature and developed both mentally and physically. And if the mother has short intervals between pregnancies or has many pregnancies in her lifetime, she is more likely to suffer from malnutrition, which is passed on to her children, perpetuating the vicious cycle.

Poverty and socioeconomic factors both play a significant role in maternal and female undernutrition.

How to identify you are malnourished?

  • Underweight for age
  • Easy fatigability
  • More frequently prone to infections
  • In children, low weight and height in accordance with WHO standard growth charts

How much does your body need?

On average, any woman during her lifetime requires 1800–2400 kcal/day, and 350–600 kcal/day more than normal during her pregnancy and lactation. This requirement varies according to age, type of lifestyle (sedentary, heavy worker)

Of total 100% of food you take 65 to 80% carbohydrates, 7 to 15% proteins, 10 to 30% fats and vitamins and minerals.

Protein requirement:

ICMR suggests one gram per kg per day and additionally, in case of pregnancy for a 10 kg weight gain, one gram per day in the first trimester, seven gram per day in the second trimester, and 23 gram per day in the third trimester; in lactation, 13 gram per day; and for children 0 to 6 years, a request for proportionately more protein.