Obama: We’ll Work on ‘Issue of Obesity’ in India (Where 30.7% of Children Under 5 Are Underweight)

In a joint radio appearance with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, President Barack Obama said there is a “worldwide epidemic of obesity” and that he looks forward to working with the government of India and non-governmental organizations on the “issue of obesity” in India.

In 2013-2014, according to a survey conducted by UNICEF and India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development, 30.7 percent of Indian children under five were underweight.

That was a significant improvement for India, where 43.5 percent of the children under five had been underweight at the time of the last survey in 2005-2006.

“India no longer ranks second-to-last in the world on underweight in children,” said the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). “Instead, it has moved into the 120th spot among 128 countries.”

According to the United Nations World Food Program a quarter of all undernourished people on Earth live in India; and the Global Hunger Index, produced by the International Food Policy Research Institute, placed India 55th out of 76 countries it ranked for hunger.