Systematic reviews, knowledge mappings, evidence synthesis

Nutrition situation in India during COVID-19 pandemic: Synthesis of evidence

Geographies India


Updated 11 Dec 2023
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The COVID-19 pandemic along with its devasting waves have heightened the risk of nutritional vulnerabilities in India through disruption in services, loss of livelihood, increasing food prices and repeated episodes of economic distresses during the pandemic (Headey et al., 2020, FAO 2020) . The pre-existing burden of malnutrition in the country includes the coexistence of a large number of undernourished children and women, high levels of micronutrient deficiencies alongside rising prevalence of overweight, obesity and diet related non-communicable diseases (NFHS 4, 2015-16). To effectively recognize and address the threats of COVID-19, it is essential to systematically monitor the short- and long-term impacts of the pandemic on nutritional status among Indian population. 

The recently released National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS 5, 2019-21) provides the latest population level data on health and nutrition indicators. However, it does not reflect the impact of the COVID-19 as the majority of data was collected prior to the pandemic (NFHS 5, 2019-21). So, this report assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nutritional status, food accessibility and continuity of essential food and nutrition services in India through a review of different reports and publications covering the period of March 2020 to April 2022.