Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also referred to as chronic diseases, are enduring conditions arising from a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioral factors.

Common types of NCDs include cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and strokes), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma), and diabetes.

NCDs are responsible for 41 million deaths annually, comprising 74% of all deaths globally.

National Institute of Nutrition’s (NIN) Guidelines

  • According to NIN guidelines, poor diets contribute to approximately 56.4% of India’s total disease burden.
  • A balanced diet and regular physical activity can prevent up to 80% of Type 2 diabetes cases and significantly reduce the risks of heart disease and hypertension.
  • NIN, under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), advises reducing the intake of salt and highly processed foods to promote better health.

Guidelines for Children and Mothers

For Children:

  • Optimal nutrition from conception to the age of two is crucial for proper growth and development, preventing all types of malnutrition including nutrient deficiencies and obesity.
  • The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey 2019 highlights high rates of lifestyle-related problems among children. For instance, about 5% of children aged 5-9 and 6% of adolescents are overweight or obese. Nearly 2% have diabetes and another 10% are pre-diabetic.
  • High levels of unhealthy cholesterol (LDL and triglycerides) were found in 37.3% of children aged 5-9 and 19.9% of pre-teens and teenagers aged 10-19. One-fourth of all children and adolescents had low levels of healthy cholesterol.

For Mothers:

  • Pregnant women experiencing nausea and vomiting should consume small, frequent meals. The guidelines recommend a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly those high in iron and folate.
  • For Infants and Children:
  • Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months and not given honey, glucose, or diluted milk. Water is not necessary, even in hot weather.
  • After six months, complementary foods should be introduced to the infant’s diet.


Micronutrient deficiencies (zinc, iron, and vitamins) affect 13% to 30% of children aged 1 to 19. The recommended dietary charts address both micronutrient deficiencies and overnutrition-related disorders.

Although severe forms of undernutrition like marasmus and kwashiorkor have been eradicated, issues such as anaemia persist. Anaemia prevalence is 40.6% in children under five, 23.5% in children aged 5-9, and 28.4% in those aged 10-19.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish June 17, 2024