Concept Of Healthy Children : The Nutritional Status Of Children

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Concept of Healthy Children: The nutritional status of children below five year age is commonly assessed using three indices: weight-for-height (wasting) which reflects acute growth disturbances, height-for-age (stunting) which reflects long-term growth faltering and weight-for-age (underweight) which is a composite indicator of both long and short term effects. Weights and heights of children are compared with the reference standards (NCHS/ CDC/WHO) and the prevalence of anthropometric deficits is usually expressed as the percentage of children below a specific cut-off point such as minus 2 standard deviations (2SD) from the median value of the international reference data. Thus, children who are below the referred indices are termed as unhealthy children. Children are first and foremost individuals, born with indivisible and inalienable human rights. They also belong to families and communities that need to have access to resources and services, as well as capacities to ensure realization of their rights. Policy approaches are needed that address both the income and non-income dimensions of children’s deprivations. Continued neglect of material, human and psycho-social dimensions of child well-being can prevent children from living a full life and from making informed decisions later on in their life. India too would miss out on the dividends that can accrue from a full expansion of children’s capabilities. The world has just eleven years in which to fulfill the promise
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