Individual, household, and community level risk factors of stunting in children younger than 5 years: Findings from a national surveillance system in Nepal

Authors: Jamie Dorsey; Swetha Manohar; Sumanta Neupane; Binod Shrestha; Rolf Klemm; Keith West Journal: Maternal and Child Nutrition

Stunting (height‐for‐age z‐score [HAZ] < −2) affects close to a quarter of the world’s child population younger than 5 years, with South Asia bearing over half of the childhood‐stunting burden. Stunting both reflects chronic undernutrition and sustained resource‐constrained environments and is often associated with an increased risk of impaired cognition, reduced economic productivity, poor health outcomes throughout the life cycle, and poor survival overall. In recent years, efforts to prevent stunting have been among the leading priorities of governments, donors, and civil society
organizations, reflected by stunting reduction goals embedded in global health policies and the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. Nepal, with an approximate population of children younger than 5 years of 3.5 million, has experienced major improvements in stunting between 2001 and 2011, with stunting prevalence decreasing 16.6% during this time. Nevertheless, the national stunting prevalence of children younger than 5 years still remains staggeringly high at 41%.