International success stories in reducing undernutrition: strategic choices, policy actions and lessons

International success stories in reducing undernutrition: strategic choices, policy actions and lessons

The overall burden of stunting in developing countries is estimated to have reduced from 40 per cent to 29 per cent. Reductions in undernutrition have not always demonstrated a direct relationship with economic development and progress of various countries indicates that there is no one solution to improving nutrition.

This paper examines the policies and approaches adopted by three developing countries – Thailand, Brazil and Vietnam that have successfully reduced undernutrition and highlights the key lessons that can be learnt by India. The paper notes that each of these countries used its own set of policies, strategies and approaches to address undernutrition albeit with some common elements for their successes.

The paper concludes by giving the following as lessons learnt and that can be replicated n India:

  • Commitment of leadership
  • Comprehensive national nutrition strategy
  • Explicit focus on maternal nutrition and women’s development
  • Addressing Low Birth Weight (LBW)
  • Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programmes; and
  • Centres to support policy formulation.
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