UNDERWEIGHT PREVALENCE HAS DECLINED IN ALL REGIONS
East Asia/Pacific and CEE/CIS reduced underweight by more than one third
Underweight prevalence in children under five, by region (1990 and 2006)
MDG indicator: Underweight prevalence among children under five
Since 1990, underweight prevalence has declined from 32 per cent to 27 per cent in the developing world. The East Asia/Pacific and CEE/CIS regions have made the greatest progress in reducing underweight prevalence, and 58 countries are on track to reach the MDG target. Yet, 143 million under-fives in the developing world continue to suffer from undernutrition, more than half of them in South Asia. Most countries failing to make sufficient progress are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Because undernutrition exacerbates the impact of disease, a large proportion of under-five deaths are attributable to this cause. Adequate nutrition is also vital for building the immune system and for motor and cognitive development. Nutrition must be given higher priority in national development if the MDGs are to be achieved.
19 COUNTRIES REDUCED UNDERWEIGHT PREVALENCE BY ONE THIRD OR MORE OVER THE PAST DECADE
Underweight prevalence in children under five (around 1996 and around 2006)
58 COUNTRIES ARE ON TRACK TO REACH THE MDG 1 TARGET
Progress in 33 countries is insufficient to reach the MDG target, and 18 countries have made no progress
SOUTH ASIA HAS THE HIGHEST UNDERWEIGHT PREVALENCE
Underweight prevalence in children under five, by region (2000–2006)
LITTLE DIFFERENCE IN UNDERWEIGHT PREVALENCE BETWEEN GIRLS AND BOYS
Children in rural areas are twice as likely to be underweight as children in urban areas
Ratios of underweight prevalence in children under five, by gender and area of residence (2000–2006)