Malnutrition & Vitamin Deficiencies

Malnutrition is estimated to contribute to more than one third of all child deaths, although it is rarely listed as the direct cause. 


Contributing to more than half of deaths in children worldwide; child malnutrition was associated with 54% of deaths in children in developing countries in 2001. Poverty remains the major contributor to this ill.

Main Deficiencies

Iodine deficiency is the primary cause of preventable brain damage in children. Its most devastating impacts occur during fetal development and in the first few years of a child’s life. Globally, 30 percent of the world’s population live in areas with iodine deficiency. 

Vitamin A deficiency affects about one third of children living in low and middle income settings, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Vitamin A deficiency weakens the immune system and increases a child’s risk of contracting and dying from infections like measles, and diarrhea illnesses.

Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which increases the risk of hemorrhage and bacterial infection during childbirth and is implicated in maternal deaths. In turn, babies may be born prematurely and suffer from infections, learning disabilities, and delayed development. Almost 40 percent of pregnant women and more than 40 per cent of children under 5 in developing countries are anemic. About half of these cases are estimated to result from iron deficiency. 

Zinc deficiency impairs immune function and is associated with an increased risk of gastrointestinal infections. It is also a contributing factor in child deaths due to diarrhea. Zinc deficiency is especially common in lower income countries due to the low dietary intake of zinc-rich foods and inadequate absorption. 

Calcium, vitamin D, and fol-ate deficiencies are a particular concern during pregnancy, and can lead to a number of health complications for both the mother and growing baby.


Create awareness and make donations on charities that works on prevention of Childhood Malnutrition

Suggested Videos & Documenteries

Child Malnutrition - What? How?
5 Signs you're not getting enough vitamins

Related links & sources

Unicef: Nutrition and Food Security

World Health Organization: Malnutrition

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