Malnutrition in Indian Women due to changing food habits: An Anthropological Perspective

Malnutrition remains a persistent global health issue, hindering human development. The World Health Organization defines it as an imbalance and lack of essential nutrients, leading to deficiencies in the human body. It broadly encompasses nutritional crises and obstacles to a nation’s food security. Malnutrition’s impact is complex, yet recent dietary shifts have altered the nutritional status of populations worldwide, signaling a grave and enduring crisis. The shift from traditional to modern diets rich in fats, sugars, and salts, but low in calories and nutrients, is a primary concern. Anthropologists have long stressed the need for comprehensive analysis of food and nutrition across communities and its adverse effects, such as malnutrition. Their contributions are crucial in supplying data that informs government policies and programs aimed at preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and malnutrition, particularly in low and middle-income countries. Current research highlights the various micronutrient deficiencies among Indian women, the interventions by government agencies, and anthropological insights to combat this global challenge.