IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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


  • Mark Misselhorn

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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


    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


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:035. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dominik Noe). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.