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Nutrition Special - Stunting in children can be defeated

Stunting is low height for age in children. In tackling child undernutrition, there has been a shift from efforts to reduce the prevalence of underweight – inadequate weight for age – to prevention of stunting.

There is better understanding of the crucial importance of nutrition during the critical 1,000-day period covering pregnancy and the first two years of a child’s life, and of the fact that stunting reflects deficiencies during this period.

The damage that stunting causes to a child’s development is irreversible. Undernutrition early in life has major consequences for future educational, income and productivity outcomes.

A new report by UNICEF reveals the high prevalence of stunting in children under 5, but also outlines the tremendous opportunities that exist to make it a problem of the past.

Download the report

Stunting reflects chronic undernutrition during the most critical periods of growth and development in early life. In India, more than 60 million children under 5 are stunted comprising almost half the children in this age group.

A regular series produced by UNICEF office of research, where issues affecting the world's children are discussed, experts say how the global problem of malnutrition that affects hundreds of thousands of children across the globe, can be dealt with

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