Report turns spotlight on India’s ‘zero-food children’.

Syllabus: GS-I, Subject: Society and Social Justice, Topic: Poverty, Hunger and developmental issues, Issue: Zero food children

Context: A study published in the peer-reviewed JAMA Network Open journal.

Zero-food children are infants who have not eaten any food of substantial calorific content — semi-solid, solid,soft, or mushy food, infant formula or fresh milk — for 24 hours.

Highlights of the study:

  • The prevalence of zero-food children in India at around 19%.
  • India has the third-highest percentage of zero-food children.
  • In terms of numbers, India has the highest number of zero-food children at more than six million.
  • Uttar Pradesh alone accounts for around 28% of zero-food children in India.


  • Poverty and marginalisation in economic background.
  • Rapid industrialisation resulting in nuclear families
  • Lack of awareness about the nutritional needs of children, and misconceptions,
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