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Cornell University

Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition

Pandemic-Era Disruptions Linked to 14% Increase in Underweight Children

This policy brief presents the findings of a TCI study that examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s nutrition in India. Using TARINA survey data, researchers found a 14% increase in underweight children after pandemic-related lockdowns.

Based on these results, TCI recommends that policymakers:

  • Incentivize the diversification of agriculture to ensure access to diverse, nutritious foods.
  • Encourage diverse agricultural production at the household level to improve household resilience to market disruptions.
  • Take steps to minimize potential disruptions to ICDS, POSHAN, and other programs that provide supplementary nutrition for vulnerable groups.
  • Explore the use of direct cash transfers when the physical delivery of services is difficult.
  • Prioritize the restoration of maternal and child-care services during future public health crises.

Download the policy brief