The state of nutrition for women in Uttar Pradesh is a cause for concern. Five districts representing different regions of the state get poor marks on this front, according to a study conducted by the Lucknow University’s Institute of Women’s Studies under the Centre of Excellence Scheme of the UP Government.
The study says 87.5 per cent adult women eat low-value food in Pratapgarh, 80 per cent do so in Gorakhpur, 79.6 per cent in drought-prone Chitrakoot, 60.5 per cent in Saharanpur and 60.9 per cent in Pilibhit.
The study also indicates that only 30.7 per cent of adult women eat thrice a day and 69.3 per cent adult women do so twice a day. The study was carried out in Chitrakoot, Pratapgarh, Pilibhit, Saharanpur and Gorakhpur on over 1200 women of all age groups.
They belonged to the rural areas, especially the Scheduled Caste population. The study says 91.8 per cent elderly women reported low physical health in Chitrakoot, 65.8 per cent in Saharanpur, 56 per cent in Pratapgarh, 44 per cent in Gorakhpur and 30.4 per cent in Pilibhit.
The health of adolescent girls was best in Saharanpur with 77.6 per cent being in high physical health, followed by 70.5 per cent in Pratapgarh, 60 per cent in Gorakhpur, 45.8 per cent in Pilibhit and 26.5 per cent in Chitrakoot.
The study indicated a majority of adult women are in high physical health. In Pilibhit, 87 per cent women are in high physical health, followed by 70 per cent in Gorakhpur, 66.7 per cent in Pratapgarh, 59.2 per cent in Chitrakoot and 52.6 per cent in Saharanpur.
Institute director Rakesh Chandra says, “We define health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being not merely an absence of disease or infirmity.
Health of women has profound impact on that of girls and children. Women’s ill-health also impacts their ability to work and their wages.” The study was conducted by a team of researchers led by Prof Rakesh Chandra, Dr Amit Pandey, Parul Saxena, Alok Pandey, Yamini Singh, Meenakshi Singh, Divya Kapur and Dr Rajesh Tripathi.