`Baby girls more malnourished than boys`

Updated: Jan 17, 2012, 20:43 PM IST

Gurgaon: About 48 percent of pediatricians across Delhi, Haryana and Punjab, areas with most skewed sex ratio in India, have observed baby girls are more malnourished than boys, according to a survey released here Tuesday.

The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) conducted an online survey among 679 pediatricians in these three states.

According to the survey, about 65 percent pediatricians observed that the birth of a boy is more celebrated while 26 percent felt that celebration is equal at the birth of a baby with either gender.

"The reason for conducting this survey on pediatricians was that they are perfectly positioned to observe gender discrimination playing out vis-a-vis child health," said Mahavir Jain, organising secretary of the annual national conference of the Indian Academy of Pediatrician (PEDICON 2012).

Haryana has the lowest child sex ratio of 830 girls per 1000 boys followed by 846 in Punjab and 866 in Delhi against the 914 across India.

"Malnutrition is the breeding ground for all diseases and a major reason for deaths of children. About 1.3 million children do not get to live more than a year. Suppose we save these lives, then it will be a major step to achieve one of the the UN Millennium Development Goal," said Rohit Agarwal, president of IAP.

PEDICON will be held Jan 18-22 on theme `Nuture with care -- dedicated to our precious daughters.`