Child malnutrition

Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age, also known as prevalence of child malnutrition (weight for age), is the percentage of children under-five whose weight for age is less than minus two standard deviations from the median for the international reference population ages 0 to 59 months. The data are based on the World Health Organization’s new child growth standards released in 2006. Child malnutrition is linked to poverty, low levels of education, and poor access to health services. Sufficient and good-quality nutrition is therefore critical for development, health, and survival of current and succeeding generations. This indicator monitors nutritional status and health in populations and relates to the first MDG aiming at reducing poverty and hunger.