Promoting Healthy Growth & preventing Childhood Stunting, a project coordinates by WHO

Last Modified Monday, 30 April 2018 (11:56 IST)
Kolkata: Promoting Healthy Growth and preventing Childhood Stunting is 
a project coordinated by the Department of Nutrition and funded by the Bill and 
Melinda Gates Foundation.
Its aims are to develop tools and a framework to support countries in setting and 
implementing stunting reduction agendas; help shift focus from underweight to stunting 
as the indicator for tracking undernutrition; highlight the association between 
undernutrition in early life and later risk of overweight/obesity, associated with 
non-communicable diseases  and contribute to the achievement of the 2012 World 
Health Assembly stunting reduction target .
 
Recognition that nutrition-sensitive interventions also are critical for stunting prevention 
has broadened the scope of candidate actions for stunting reduction. Therefore, in addition 
to improved complementary feeding, interventions to strengthen food systems, promote 
healthy diets, improve maternal health, water supplies, sanitation and hygiene are among 
the multi-faceted actions being undertaken to address stunting, a WHO report said.
 
 Analysis of data on global trends and determinants of growth indicators Collaborating 
with global and country-level partners to set and implement national stunting reduction 
agendas Supporting countries to implement the WHO while 
promoting best practices for growth assessment and counselling on infant and young 
child feeding.
 
Childhood Stunting: Context, Causes and Consequences is a conceptual framework 
that summarizes three levels of factors associated with stunting. It is a direct product of 
the Healthy Growth Project.
 
It builds on the UNICEF conceptual framework on causes of malnutrition. Stunted 
growth and development are central to this framework. They share common causes and 
the period from conception to age 24 months is highly sensitive for both. Strategies that 
promote and protect healthy growth in this period benefit children's physical, mental, 
socio-emotional, and intellectual growth and development.
 
Stunting in childhood has short-term and long-term consequences that affect health 
and human capital development. In addition to poor physical growth, stunting affects 
childhood risk of infection and mortality, cognitive and motor development, learning 
capacity and school performance. Later it affects productivity, wages, and reproductive 
health. Stunting followed by excessive weight gain in later childhood leads to increased 
risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
 
Among the immediate causes of stunting, complementary feeding is highlighted 
together with the importance of breastfeeding.(UNI)
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