Child Malnutrition at Different World Regions in 1990-2013

Authors

1 Midwifery MSc, Instructor, Midwifery Department, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran.

2 Faculty Member, Department of Community Health and Psychiatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Students Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Mashhad, Iran.

5 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

Adequate nutrition is essential in early childhood to ensure healthy growth, proper organ formation and function, a strong immune system, and neurological and cognitive development. Child malnutrition – as measured by poor child growth – is an important indicator for monitoring population nutritional status and health. In 2013, about 17%, or 98 million children under five years of age in developing countries were underweight (low weight-for-age according to the WHO child growth standards). Underweight prevalence is highest in the United Nation (UN) region of Southern Asia (30%), followed by Western Africa (21%), Oceania and Eastern Africa (both 19%) and South-Eastern Asia and Middle Africa (both 16%), and Southern Africa 12%. Prevalence below 10% for 2013 is estimated for the UN regions of Eastern, Central and Western Asia, Northern Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. Childhood malnutrition, including fetal growth restriction, suboptimum breastfeeding, stunting, wasting and Vitamin A and zinc deficiencies, is an underlying cause of death in an estimated 45% of all deaths among children under five years of age.

Keywords