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Food inflation and child undernutrition in low and middle income countries

IFPRI Headey, D., Ruel, M., 2022-11-01
Article on the potential impacts of food inflation on wasting and stunting among 1.27 million pre-school children from 44 developing countries. On average, a 5 percent increase in the real price of food increases the risk of wasting by 9 percent and severe wasting by 14 percent. These risks apply to young infants, suggesting a prenatal pathway, as well as to older children who typically experience a deterioration in diet quality in the wake of food inflation. Male children and children from poor and rural landless households are more severely impacted. Food inflation during pregnancy and the first year after birth also increases the risk of stunting for children 2-5 years of age. This evidence provides a strong rationale for interventions to prevent food inflation and mitigate its impacts on vulnerable children and their mothers. Summary and full article available.
  • Economic
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Africa
  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Asia
  • Bangladesh
  • Benin
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Central Asia
  • Chad
  • Colombia
  • Congo (Republic of the)
  • Congo-Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC))
  • Dominican Republic
  • East Africa
  • Egypt (Arab Republic)
  • Ethiopia
  • Europe
  • Ghana
  • Global
  • Guinea
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Latin America
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Middle East
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Africa
  • North America
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Rwanda
  • Sahel
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • South America
  • South Asia
  • Southern Africa
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania (United Republic of)
  • Timor-Leste
  • Uganda
  • West Africa
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)
  • Children (boys and/or girls 1-10 years old)
  • Children <5 years old
  • Pregnant Women and/or Girls
  • Research
  • Article
  • Journal article

Highlighted Sources

Asia and the Pacific regional overview of food security and nutrition 2022: Urban food systems and nutrition – Launch recording, Key messages & Full report

  • Policy
  • Research
  • Article
  • Press release
  • Report
  • Video
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Ukraine War
  • Women and/or Girls
Press release on the launch and key messages of the fifth annual Asia-Pacific regional SOFI report. The report’s highlights capture the challenges and system-level determinants of unhealthy diets in urban areas, both regarding undernutrition and overweight. It presents, among others, data on food security and affordability and the state of progress on achieving the global nutrition targets. The findings profile various urban environments, interventions, experiences, and opportunities to innovate at multiple levels to transform urban areas into sustainable cities. A link to the report's virtual launch event is available including the recording, key messages, and full report. View Source

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on diets, nutrition services & nutrition practices in UNICEF’s Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR): Evidence from remote surveys

  • Research
  • Report
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Women and/or Girls
Report on the impact of the COVID pandemic on diets, services, and practices in the Eastern and Southern Africa region. The report presents findings from remote surveys in six ESAR countries with data on breastfeeding, diet diversity, food consumption and insecurity, drivers of dietary changes, and disruptions to nutrition services. The survey provides important learning for the future use of remote methods for collecting nutrition data. Technical brief, pull report, and six country briefs are available. View Source

Economic shocks predict increases in child wasting prevalence

  • Research
  • Article
  • Journal article
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Social Support and Protection
Article on the impact of severe negative economic shock on child acute malnutrition (wasting), a major risk factor for under-5 mortality. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) macroeconomic volatility is common, and severe negative economic shocks can substantially increase poverty and food insecurity. Less well understood are the implications of these contractions for child wasting. This study explores the nutritional impacts of economic growth shocks over 1990–2018 by linking wasting outcomes collected for 1.256 million children from 52 countries to lagged annual changes in economic growth. Estimates suggest that a 10% annual decline in national income increases moderate/severe wasting prevalence by 14.4–17.8%. An exploration of possible mechanisms suggests negative economic shocks may increase risks of inadequate dietary diversity among children. Applying these results to the latest economic growth estimates for 2020 suggests that COVID-19 could put an additional 9.4 million preschoolers at risk of wasting, net of the effects of preventative policy actions. View Source