This post explores the risks posed by all forms of malnutrition, starting from the earliest stages of development.
Fact 1: Malnutrition contributes to disease and early deaths for mothers and children.
Undernutrition, including vitamin and mineral deficiencies, accounts for about one-third of all child deaths and impairs healthy development and life-long productivity. At the same time, growing rates of overweight are linked to a rise in chronic diseases. The result is a double burden of malnutrition
Fact 2: A key indicator of chronic malnutrition is stunting
Stunting is when children are too short for their age group compared to the WHO child growth standards. About 155 million children globally are stunted, according to 2016 figures, resulting from not enough food, a vitamin- and mineral-poor diet, inadequate child care and disease. As growth slows down, brain development lags and stunted children learn poorly. Stunting rates among children are highest in Africa and Asia. In Eastern Africa, 37% were affected as of 2016 and 34% in Southern Asia
Fact 3: About 1.5 million children die annually due to wasting
Wasting and bilateral oedema are severe forms of malnutrition – resulting from acute food shortages and compounded by illness. Rising food prices, food scarcity in areas of conflict, and natural disasters diminish household access to appropriate and adequate food, all of which can lead to wasting.
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