Undernutrition is defined as the outcome of insufficient food intake and repeated infectious diseases. It includes being underweight for one’s age, too short for one’s age ( stunted ), dangerously thin for one’s height ( wasted ) and deficient in vitamins and minerals (micronutrient malnutrition).
Underweight reveals low body mass relative to chronological age which is influenced by both child’s weight and height.
Problem with this term is it cannot distinguish between a child that is small in weight relative to his/her height and a child that is low in height relative to his/her age but who may be normal in weight for height.
Indicators of Undernutrition INDICATOR INTERPRETATION COMMENTS STUNTING LOW HEIGHT FOR AGE CHRONIC MALNUTRITION WASTING LOW WEIGHT FOR HEIGHT ACUTE MALNUTRITION UNDERWEIGHT LOW WEIGHT FOR AGE COMBINED INDICATOR TO REFLECT BOTH ACUTE & CHRONIC MALNUTRITION