Millions of people are suffering from different forms of malnutrition in the world. Globally in 2020, 149 million children under 5 were estimated to be stunted (too short for age), 45 million were estimated to be wasted (too thin for height), and 38.9 million were overweight or obese.
Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients.
However, there is not a single country in the world today that does not have to deal with malnutrition as a rising or persisting issue.
In Mexico, one in eight children under the age of 5 suffers from malnutrition. Early nutrition is crucial to a child’s proper development as it is a time of swift mental and physical development
But its detection is tricky because while children might appear healthy at first sight, there are chances they might be malnourished.
In order to deal with this undetectable problem, Kellogg’s came up with an easy approach to identify the lack of nourishment in children using school uniforms.
Measuring the circumference of a child’s arm is an effective way to detect ill-health. Kelloggs created a uniform with a unique meter sleeve in collaboration with professionals that can help in monitoring alterations constantly.
Parents, guardians, and teachers will be able to determine a child’s nutritional deficiency through the shades at the band (red, green and yellow) by adjusting the sleeve.
Also, each uniform is made with directions as well as a phone number for people to call for assistance.
The uniform shirts were delivered to schools across the country and hundreds of alerts were reported in less than a month of the uniforms being rolled out.
Malnutrition in India
India, despite being one of the world’s largest producers of food items like milk, pulses, wheat, rice, fruits, vegetables among others, and a country with multiple schemes addressing malnutrition, child malnutrition is a longstanding challenge for the public administration.
In a 2019 report published by UNICEF, it was noted that malnutrition was the cause of 69% of deaths of children under the age of five in India.
In Karnataka too, child malnutrition is a worrisome development. Chief Minister Bommai had announced that government will launch a special program to tackle malnutrition among girls and adolescents in three districts. (Kalaburagi, Raichur, and Yadgir districts)
However, as malnutrition amongst children in India continues to be an endemic issue despite huge improvements in the past few years, the government can think of similar measures to help detect malnutrition.