In the map and horizontal bar chart, the data is presented in five classes created using the quantile classification method. Each class contains 20% of countries, which is easy to interpret. The quintile intervals are labeled sequentially from Quintile 1, also called the bottom quintile which includes the lowest fifth (0 to 20%) of data points to Quintile 5 (or top quintile), which includes the top fifth (80% to 100%) of data points.
DATA SOURCE AND METHODS
This topic used data from the UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Group joint child malnutrition estimates 2021 edition, which was published by the World Health Organization.
The UNICEF-WHO-World Bank JME Working Group (JME) was established in 2011 to address the call for harmonized child malnutrition estimates that would be instrumental in benchmarking progress on child malnutrition. The JME provided estimates for stunting, wasting, severe wasting, underweight and overweight, as well as a detailed description of the methodology. In brief, JME produces country-level modeled estimates for stunting and overweight based on updated methodology (4) developed by the JME Working Group and the University of South Carolina. The regional and global figures for stunting and overweight are based on these country model outputs, while they remain based on the previously applied sub-regional model for wasting and severe wasting. (2, 3) Additional work is ongoing to update methods for wasting and severe wasting for which available data are not as stable as for stunting and overweight (see section about regional and global estimates on page 27 of the JME child malnutrition estimates 2021 edition).
The JME process for the 2021 edition involved the following steps: (i) updating the country dataset of primary sources (e.g., national household surveys); (ii) application of a country level model for stunting and overweight to generate annual estimates; (iii) generation of regional and global aggregates for stunting, wasting, severe wasting and overweight; and (iv) consultation with countries before finalizing and disseminating the 2021 estimates.
The data sources and key parts of the JME methodology for child malnutrition estimation are described in more detail in the JME child malnutrition estimated 2021.
FORMS OF MALNUTRITION
Stunting refers to a child who is too short for his or her age. Children affected by stunting can suffer severe irreversible physical and cognitive damage that accompanies stunted growth. The devastating consequences of stunting can last a lifetime and even affect the next generation.
Wasting refers to a child who is too thin for his or her height. Wasting is the result of recent rapid weight loss or the failure to gain weight. A child who is moderately or severely wasted has an increased risk of death, but treatment is possible.
Overweight refers to a child who is too heavy for his or her height. This form of malnutrition results when energy intakes from food and beverages exceed children’s energy requirements. Being overweight increases the risk of diet-related noncommunicable diseases later in life.
Low birth weight newborns
This topic and visualization also draw data from the Joint Low Birthweight Estimates - Levels and trends 2000–2015 developed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Johns Hopkins University.
This is the first time such estimates have been made available globally, making it possible to track progress and support various initiatives including the World Health Assembly (WHA) Nutrition Targets, the Every Newborn Action Plan and the Global Strategy for Women's Children's and Adolescents' Health.
In total 1,447 data points for 148 countries (1,218 administrative data points from 96 countries, with 1,026 high coverage and 192 moderate coverage; and 229 adjusted survey estimates from 86 countries) were used. Country input data were obtained through systematic searches of National Statistical Office and Ministry of Health websites, from websites of the household survey programs of Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys and Demographic and Health Surveys and from data gathered during an extensive country consultation.
The detailed methodology is described in Blencowe H, et al. National, regional, and worldwide estimates of low birthweight in 2015, with trends from 2000: a systematic analysis. Lancet Glob Health 2019. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30565-5.
You can download estimates for each indicator directly from the WHO Global Health observatory (GHO) in MS Excel or CSV formats:
You can also download the data directly from the visualization, following the steps:
- Go to the Data component of the visualization,
- Use filters to select data of interest,
- Click on the Download button located at the bottom-right corner of the visualization, and
- Follow the steps from the dialogue.