Childrens’ Nutritional Needs and Realities in an Emerging World

Editor(s): E. Nel Annales Nestlé Vol.72/ 2 2014 , 2015


Children in developing countries are faced with many nutritional challenges. On the one hand, food security is under threat with inadequate energy intake and low dietary diversity; on the other hand, children are often exposed to diets typical of a Western lifestyle, leading to obesity and its attendant complications. This double burden of malnutrition is increasingly recognised in developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa.Recently, studies have highlighted the poor intake of school children and adolescents and the potential that interventions in this age group may have to improve growth and development.In this issue of Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, we address some of these questions (trends in childhood stunting and adulthood obesity, vitamin D and calcium metabolism, dietary intake in schoolchildren and adolescents, and the role of mycotoxins) with an emphasis on Africa.

  • Africa in Transition Growth Trends in Children and Implications for Nutrition

    Author(s): S. Norris, S. Wrottesley, R. Mohamed, L. Micklesfield

    The aims of this paper were to: (1) review the literature and examine contemporary child growth in terms of stunting prevalence across Africa; (2) discuss child stunting within the context of economic growth and adult obesity, and (3) elucidate the implications for child nutrition. It is evident that stunting in under-5-year-old children still plagues Africa and has not decreased as expected in line with the concomitant improvement in economic development over the past de-cade. Persisting and possibly widening inequality ensures that not all segments of the population, in particular the most vulnerable, benefit equally from economic growth. Of concern is the association between the increasing economic progress across Africa and the rising adult obesity, especially amongst females. More and more African countries are now afflicted with a double burden of malnutrition. The implication for child nutrition is that African countries need not only apply a multisectoral approach to accelerate the reduction in stunting levels, but also to arrest and prevent obesity.

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