The goal is to end child malnutrition by 2030, which includes tackling “child wasting,” where kids are too thin for their height. Traditional methods for measuring this problem only give a snapshot, missing when it starts and ends.
This study looked at data from 21 groups of children and found that child wasting is a dynamic process, with most cases happening in the first three months of life. More children experience it during their first two years than we thought.
Kids who experience wasting early recover faster but face later growth issues and higher mortality risks. In places with changing rainfall, children’s weight-for-height measurements vary, suggesting the need for season-specific interventions.
The study highlights the importance of preventing wasting in very young children, possibly by improving maternal nutrition, alongside existing programs for older children.