Anthropometric Indicators of Undernutrition: Measurements and Evidence

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

 Anthropometric Indicators of Undernutrition: Measurements and Evidence

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This chapter sets out by assessing the uniform height and weight norms established by the WHO, which are conventionally used to gauge the anthropometric status of people of different age and sex, worldwide. The available estimates of the prevalence of undernutrition in sub‐Saharan Africa and South Asia are compared to estimates from other regions. Most observations are for young children and, to a lesser extent, for females of reproductive age. The anthropometric status of these population groups in the various countries, along age and gender lines and also the rural/urban divide, are mapped. A puzzling finding is that the prevalence of undernutrition, when measured by anthropometrics—both in young children and adult women—is by far the highest in South Asia, while the (FAO) food‐supply‐based estimates find the incidence to be the highest in sub‐Saharan Africa (also see Ch. 18).

Keywords: Africa; anthropometric status; Asia; FAO; gender; rural; undernutrition; urban; WHO; young children

Chapter.  7116 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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