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Undernutrition and the Nutrition Transition: Revising the undernutrition aspect of MDG I

Author

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  • Mark Misselhorn

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

Abstract

Since the publication of the new multi-country reference standard by WHO it is likely that future progress in the ght against undernutrition will be tracked by using this new standard. The use of the new reference standard will result in clear changes in the prevalence and composition of undernutrition. This paper argues that this opportunity should be used to use stunting or a Composite Index of Anthropometric Failure instead of underweight as the indicator to measure progress in the ght against hunger. All weight based anthropometric measures, such as underweight and wasting, suffer from the fact that due to changes in the nutritional composition of diets in developing countries there is going to be a secular reduction in those measures that does not coincide with real improvements in the health of the affected children. This bias could lead to wrong conclusions concerning the fulllment of the undernutrition aspect of MDG I.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Misselhorn, 2010. "Undernutrition and the Nutrition Transition: Revising the undernutrition aspect of MDG I," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 35, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:035
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    File URL: http://www2.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/courant-papers/CRC-PEG_DP_35.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. de Haen, Hartwig & Klasen, Stephan & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "What do we really know? Metrics for food insecurity and undernutrition," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 760-769.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nutrition transition; child undernutrition; Millennium Development Goals; composition of undernutrition;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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