Birsa Agricultural University, Ranchi, Jharkhand
Despite significant progress in science, technology and industry, India has yet to control malnutrition, especially among preschool children. A broader segment of the people still suffers deleterious consequences of malnutrition. The causal factors of malnutrition are multidimensional, including very individualized macrosocial-cultural and economic factors. The people's health is an essential indicator of the development of a nation, and nutrition is an important determinant of health; environment and genetics are the others. It is widely recognized that the diets usually consumed by most people in the developing world, including India, are deficient in various important nutritional constituents, e.g. proteins, minerals and vitamins. The consequences of consuming such poor foods for an extended period is grave- most people in these countries face severe malnutrition. Due to that, people develop disorders and illnesses that directly link to consuming impoverished foods. The term malnutrition constitutes both under-nutrition and over-nutrition. Rather it signifies the lack of balance in micro-nutrients in daily food intake. In developing countries, under-nutrition ranks first and, together with micronutrient deficiencies [iron, zinc and vitamin A], contribute to over 24 per cent age points of disease burden, as judged by the loss of disability-associated life years. Since nutritional deficiencies are not isolated, contributions from other deficiencies, particularly vitamin B-complex deficiencies [folic acid, riboflavin], which are rampant, may have been overlooked. Diet and nutrition have tremendous potential for improving health. Nutrition is the foundation for health and development. This study endeavours to find a viable solution to the malnutrition problems affecting rural and marginalized people.