Childhood Stunting: Policy Solutions to Address a Global Burden with Long-Term Impacts

Friday, February 12, 2016: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Marriott Balcony B (Marriott Wardman Park)
Approximately 160 million children under the age of 5 are stunted, defined as having a height that is more than two standard deviations below the World Health Organization Child Growth Standards median. Stunting has lifelong consequences, as stunted children may never attain their expected height or weight and are at increased risk for impaired immune function and vaccine response, delayed neurodevelopment and poor school achievement, metabolic disease in adulthood, and decreased economic productivity. Inadequate nutrition and repeated infections contribute to stunting and are especially problematic during the first 1,000 days of life. Combating stunting requires an integrated approach to address maternal, fetal, neonatal, and child health and nutrition, and the environmental and economic factors predisposing these populations to malnutrition and disease. This symposium reviews the global burden of stunting, what is known of its causes and long-term outcomes, where there are still gaps in our understanding, and how collaborative big data projects can inform the field. Current efforts to understand the relationship between physical growth and cognitive development are discussed, as well as efforts underway to combat stunting.
Sharon Bergquist, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Zulfiqar Bhutta, Aga Khan University
The Global Burden of Stunting
Andrew Prentice, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Long-Term Health and Development Implications of Stunting
Shasha Jumbe, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Health Birth, Growth, and Development Knowledge Integration
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