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The Mdg On Poverty And Hunger: How Reliable Are The Hunger Estimates?

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Chapter Summary

Two hunger related indicators are used for tracking progress towards Millennium Development Goals (MDG)-1. The prevalence of people with inadequate food intake (undernourishment) is based on national food statistics, which are not very reliable in Sub-Saharan Africa. The other indicator (prevalence of underweight among underfives, based on anthropometric surveys) appears to be more reliable. The measurement of height in addition to weight allows a more refined classification of anthropometric failure. A specially designed cross-tabulation (called 'Anthro Table') facilitates the inspection of the resulting interconnected prevalence data. An example from Kenya confirms the reliability of underweight as a sound overall indicator of child growth, while the prevalence of stunting (low height) remains a useful additional indicator that can help attribute any trends in underweight to chronic and/or acute undernutrition.

Keywords: acute undernutrition; anthro table; millennium development goals (MDG); Sub-Saharan Africa



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