"The current pattern of economic growth has not translated into reducing child under-nutrition in India. Perhaps some trickle down to the rich but certainly not for the poor. Even the postnatal interventions work in the short run. (Agencies)
"We need to consider intergenerational prospective and introduce adolescent health interventions," said Subramaniam delivering a lecture on 'Child under-nutrition in India: Lessons learned' at the India International Centre.
He emphasized that there appears to be a vicious inter-generational cycle of under nutrition. "A few future interventions need to focus on the time frame when the children are growing," he said.
Subramaniam demonstrated that the growth pattern of Indian kids during their early years is no different from kids from elsewhere when they are exposed to ideal nutritional socio-economic environment.
He also went to emphasize the role of post-natal interventions like early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding under six months, timely introduction of complementary foods, consumption of iron rich complementary foods, vitamin A supplementation, use of iodised salt, full vaccination and safe disposal of stools.
He also pointed that the role of family and how a good household can help in combating the problem.
"The need for India is to look beyond child survival and take a holistic perspective of child development," he said.
India still carries the burden of 7.5 million low birth weight in the world as compared to Pakistan which has only 1.5 million, Bangladesh having 0.7 million, Nigeria, 0.8 million, Philippines having 0.5 million and rest of the world accounting for 9.5 million low birth weight as per the UNICEF.
The stunting prevalence in India is 48 percent (2005-2006) carrying 38 percent of global burden 2011.
"The current pattern of economic growth has not translated into reducing child under-nutrition in India. Perhaps some trickle down to the rich but certainly not for the poor. Even the postnatal interventions work in the short run.