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Overcoming child malnutrition in developing countries: Past achievements and future choices

  • Smith, L. C.
  • Haddad, L.

In 1995, 167 million children under five years old — almost one-third of developing-country children — were malnourished. Malnutrition causes a great deal of human suffering, and it is a violation of a child’s human rights. It is associated with more than half of all deaths of children worldwide. People who survive a malnourished childhood are less physically and intellectually productive and suffer from more chronic illness and disability. The costs to society are enormous. Eradicating malnutrition remains a tremendous public policy challenge. Which types of interventions will have the greatest impact in reducing child malnutrition? The study on which this brief is based uses national data for 63 countries over 1970–96 to explore this question.

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