Objectives To construct a composite indicator of undernutrition, using anthropometric data, for estimating the prevalence of undernutrition in young children. Methods Developing a model by economist Peter Svedberg, a composite index of anthropometric failure (CIAF) is constructed, to measure the overall prevalence of undernutrition in young children. Anthropometric data are used from the second National Family Health Survey (NFHS-2) for India to compare the CIAF with three conventional indicators of undernutrition - stunting, wasting and underweight. The relationships between distinct sub-groups of anthropometric failure, poverty and morbidity are examined. Findings Conventional indices of undernutrition in young children provide varying estimates of prevalence. Based on NFHS-2 data, rates of stunting, wasting and underweight among children under 3 years old are 45%, 16% and 47% respectively. The CIAF shows a higher prevalence of undernutrition, with 60% of children suffering ‘anthropometric failure’. Children with multiple anthropometric failures show significantly greater risk of morbidity and are more likely to be from poorer households. Conclusion The CIAF provides a single, comprehensive indicator to estimate the prevalence of undernutrition. Conventional indices of stunting, wasting and underweight may provide underestimates. This has implications for governments, donor organisations and policy makers hoping to meet international targets to reduce undernutrition.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Composite Index of Anthropometric Failure (CIAF): an alternative indicator of malnutrition in young children|
|Title of host publication||Handbook of Anthropometry: Physical Measures of Human Form in Health and Disease|
|Pages||127 - 138|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|