Stunting affects one-third of children under five in low- and middle-income countries or a total of 178 million children.3 Stunting often goes unrecognized by families who live in communities where short stature is so common that it seems normal. Even among health workers, stunting generally does not receive the same attention as underweight or wasting (low weight-for-height), especially if height is not routinely measured as part of community health programs. Many families, health workers, and policymakers are unaware of the consequences of stunting, so it may not be viewed as a public health issue.
Insight is a series of technical briefs that address the continuum of care for good infant and young child feeding, from initiation of early and exclusive breastfeeding through complementary feeding in later infancy and the second year of life. Alive & Thrive aims to improve feeding practices during this critical period to save lives, prevent malnutrition, and promote optimal growth.
This 7-page technical brief discusses the negative effects of stunting and steps to take to prevent them.