Aggregate Estimations of Prevalence of Undernutrition: Scope for Improvements?

Peter Svedberg

in Poverty and Undernutrition

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780198292685
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596957 | DOI:

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

 Aggregate Estimations of Prevalence of Undernutrition: Scope for Improvements?

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This chapter summarizes the main findings in the preceding five chapters, aimed at critically assessing the FAO's food‐supply‐based approach for estimating the prevalence of undernutrition. The scope for improvements of this supply‐side estimation method in the short, medium, and long terms is assessed, and the critical data now missing are identified. Finally, as a bridge to part IV of the book, which deals with the main alternative estimation method, anthropometrics, the justification for spending resources on improving the supply‐side method is discussed. A main conclusion is that whatever refinements of this method may come forth in the distant future, the method is nevertheless of doubtful value. The main reason is that this aggregate method can never be used for identifying and targeting undernourished individuals in intervention programmes, an important policy objective for which nutritional indicators are needed.

Keywords: anthropometrics; FAO; improvements; intervention programmes; nutritional indicators; targeting; undernutrition

Chapter.  4296 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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