The State of the World's Children 2019: Children, food and nutrition
Growing well in a changing world - Latin America and the Caribbean
Their numbers are worryingly high. Globally, one in three children under the age of 5 is stunted, wasted or overweight and, in some cases suffers from a combination of two of these forms of malnutrition. In Latin America and the Caribbean it is almost one in five.
Undernutrition continues to affect tens of millions of children. Its presence is visible in the stunted bodies of children deprived of adequate nutrition in the first 1,000 days and beyond. These children may carry the burden of early stunting for the rest of their lives and may never meet their full physical and intellectual potential.
Undernutrition is also evident in the wasted bodies of children when circumstances like food shortages, poor feeding practices and infection, often compounded by poverty, humanitarian crises and conflict, deprive them of adequate nutrition and, in far too many cases, result in death.
In 2018, 149 million children under 5 were stunted and almost 50 million were wasted. In Latin America and the Caribbean, 4.8 million children under 5 were stunted and 0.7 million were wasted.