Health Desk – 07 May, 2021: The inter-agency team releases annually estimate for child stunting, overweight, underweight, wasting and severe wasting. These new estimates supersede former analyses results published by the JME group, and the entire time series is updated based on available data to date.
Child malnutrition estimates for the indicators stunting, wasting, overweight and underweight describe the magnitude and patterns of under- and overnutrition. UNICEF-WHO-WB Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates inter-agency group updates regularly the global and regional estimates in prevalence and numbers for each indicator. The key findings 2021 Edition includes global and regional trends and, for the first time, country-level estimates are also presented, with a summary of the enhanced methodology for deriving country-level model-based estimates for stunting and overweight. Country progress assessment towards the 2030 targets are provided with summaries by region.
In 2020, globally, 149.2 million children under the age of 5 years of age were stunted, 45.4 million wasted, and 38.9 million overweight. The number of children with stunting is declining in all regions except Africa. More than half of all children affected by wasting live in Southern Asia and Asia as a whole is home to more than three-quarters of all children suffering from severe wasting. In terms of the targets, at country level, the greatest progress is being made towards the stunting target, with nearly two-thirds of countries seeing at least some progress. In contrast, for overweight, about half of all countries have experienced no progress or are worsening.