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Malnutrition in India: How can the Internet help?

Photo by Charu Chaturvedi on Unsplash

Major causes of malnutrition

Malnutrition is caused by multiple factors like early marriage, poor maternal health, incorrect handwashing and hygiene practices, and a lack of exclusive breastfeeding or eating dietary diverse foods. In India, 27% of girls marry before 18 years and 31% of them give birth by the same age which only increases the risk of a child being born underweight and malnourished.

Efforts to tackle malnutrition

Over the years, there have been several government and civil society programs that tackle the various causes of malnutrition. A mid-day meal scheme in school has helped to retain children’s attendance while providing them with enough nutrients to make sure they are healthy and stay focused in school. Nutrition rehabilitation centers across the country equip caregivers with age-appropriate care and counseling for their children while a 5-year ‘Clean India’ Campaign helped build clean water sources and toilets in millions of households.

The Digital Ecosystem: Nutrition

With half a billion Internet users in India and limited reach through mass media, there is a huge potential to reach millions of people online with messaging on safe healthy behaviors that informs and empowers them to make decisions about their and their families’ lives.

Evolving the Digital Ecosystem

Once we understood how people navigated online platforms regarding nutrition-related content, we segmented them into clusters based on how they responded, shared, and searched for the content. By segmenting the audience, we can also target messages to scale the reach of health messages or build champions on malnutrition:

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