July 14, 2011


The term "Undernutrition" is currently used to describe a host of condition, related to insufficient or sub-optimal nutrition. In children, it includes two distinct conditions:acute and chronic malnutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies. In women, it refers to maternal undernutrion as measured by low body-mass index (BMI) and intrauterine growth restriction, characterized by low birth weight of neonates. Since the association between maternal and child undernutrition is very strong, these two conditions must be analyzed and addressed together. Generally, and in Indonesia specifically, underweight is mostly used curent research and analyses of undernutrition. However, wasting is a more accurate and internationally recommended indicator of chronic undernutrition. As well as measuring weight for height, undernutrition can also be measured with a MUAC tape (under <11.5cm mid upper-arm circumference). The most common vitamin & mineral deficiencies are a lack of iron (anemia), vitamin A (low serum retinel level), iodine (level of iodine excretion in urine) and zinc. Deficiencies negatively impact child and maternal health and lead to complications in pregnancy, retarded growth, impaired intellectual development (IQ decrease by 15% in population), weak immunity and a high risk of mortality. Maternal and child undernutrition is highly prevalent in low-income and middle-income countries and results to substantial increased in mortality and diseases burden


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