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India: Malnutrition Affects 42 Percent Of Children Under 5

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INDIA CHILDREN MALNOURISHED
An Indian girl eats outside her home in a slum in Hyderabad, on January 10, 2012. Levels of under-nutrition in the country were 'unacceptably high' despite impressive GDP growth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Tuesday and added that the problem of malnutrition was a 'national shame'. (NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty

NEW DELHI -- Forty-two percent of children in India younger than 5 are underweight and nearly 60 percent are stunted, a new survey found.

The Hunger and Malnutrition Survey monitored over 100,000 children in 112 districts across nine states in the country from October 2010 to February of last year.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released the report Tuesday and called child malnutrition the country's shame.

India's economy has boomed, with growth over the last few years averaging about 8 percent, but the country's development indicators continue to be abysmal.

Singh released a summary of the report's findings and more details on its findings were not yet available.

The survey conducted by a group of non-profits was the largest such study since 2004, when the Indian government had surveyed child malnutrition. It was the first study by the group so comparative numbers are not available.

UNICEF's latest data say one-third of the world's malnourished children younger than 3 lives in India, a rate worse than sub-Saharan Africa.

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