Terminology & Fact Sheet
includes undernutrition (wasting, stunting, underweight), inadequate micronutrients, overweight, obesity, and resulting diet-related noncommunicable diseases.
low weight for age
low height for age
low weight for height
low red blood cell count, often due to iron deficiency
vitamins & minerals that are needed in small amounts for the body to produce enzymes and hormones for proper growth & development
Child Deaths due to Undernutrition
"Nutrition-related factors contribute to about 45 percent of child deaths under age 5. Among undernourished children who survive, more than one quarter suffer from stunted growth, which can impair neurological development and learning."
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
"To stunt means to hinder growth, to dwarf, leading to unachieved potential. The external sign of stunting is attained size – notably height – below the limits of normal variation among children of a given age and sex. Less visible are functional deficits related to sub-optimal development of the brain and other organs, which affect abilities such as language, learning, psychosocial behavior and work capacity."
- World Health Organization
The Vicious Cycle
"The problem starts before pregnancy. Women and girls who are not healthy and well-nourished are more likely to have malnourished children. Because poor nutrition compromises the immune system, children who are malnourished are more vulnerable to life-threatening infectious diseases as well as physical and cognitive impairments. This limits their ability to learn in school and reduces their productivity as adults—creating a vicious cycle that prevents families, communities, and countries from lifting themselves out of poverty."