Recent estimates suggest 156 million young children suffer chronic malnutrition, which is associated with poorer life outcomes. Response to treatment is greatest in younger (<24 months of age) children, but to date no universal package of interventions has been identified. Carefully designed programmes that provide foods or enhance caloric value of local foods can be effective at promoting growth in undernourished children, but micronutrient fortification alone has little impact on growth. Programms that start in infancy, promote breastfeeding, provide education on feeding practices and include a focus on sanitation and hygiene may have increased success at reducing chronic malnutrition.
Patricia Kariger, PhD
Co-Investigator, Child Development Water and Sanitation Program Impact and Evaluation - The World Bank