Madison Johnson

Publication Date



malnutrition, risk factors, South Asia, SAM




South Asia is home to 23% of the global population and has the largest prevalence of stunting in any region in the world. Severe acute malnutrition is a frequent cause of death in children under 5 globally. While sustainable development goals have brought more people out of poverty in the last 50 years, a disproportionate number of children remain malnourished. These children are typically found in developing countries, with a large burden existing in South Asia. Young children are most susceptible to the effects of malnutrition as they are at a stage of increased physical and cognitive development. There are many contributors to this problem in South Asia: mainly due to inflating food prices, lack of education, and other familial or living conditions. Many of the physical and cognitive effects children suffer under the age of 5 due to malnutrition are irreversible after age 5 and can lead to death or severe disability. Government groups are standardizing the method of identifying and treating severe acute malnutrition in children, and some groups are implementing those methods; however, the impact needs to be more rigorously studied to show how implementing best practices affect the outcomes of malnourished individuals.