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Publication | 12 January 2021

Potential of biofortified wheat to alleviate hidden hunger

Global Food and Nutrition Security

Micronutrient deficiency affects more than 2 billion individuals globally. It reduces adult health and productivity, inhibits children from reaching their full growth and development potential. As a consequence of malnutrition, as many as 38.4% of the children (<5 years of age) are stunted and 35.7% are underweight in India. Zinc deficiency caused by inadequate daily intake is one of the major reasons for stunting. It has been estimated that 66% of working Indians earn less because of the lasting effects of childhood stunting. Malnutrition continues to be a serious problem in India, which is not only a consequence of poverty but also a cause of poverty. Annually, India loses over $12 billion in GDP due to vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies. Because of affordability, access, and acceptability issues, ongoing interventions such as dietary diversification, supplementation, and commercial food fortification have had limited impact on malnutrition reduction.