October 01, 2018

Leadership Update: Vol. 2, Issue 4 — October 2018


In late September, Ki hosted a webinar to report on the preliminary results of the stunting rally to the data contributors whose data was included in the analysis. Conducted by an analysis team at Berkeley in coordination with members of the foundation’s MNCH D&T team, the rally combined a total of 31 studies with data on almost 90,000 children.

The rally asked three questions:

  • How does stunting prevalence and incidence vary over region and child age?
  • What characteristics are associated with incident stunting?
  • What is the relationship between stunting and wasting?

Similar to the wasting rally, one of the most interesting findings is about the importance of early stunting. Of children in the analysis who became stunted by age 2, three out of seven became stunted in the first three months—and half of those were born stunted. Furthermore, prenatal factors (such as maternal height and BMI) were strongly associated with stunting, even when birth size were controlled for; post-natal factors (such as exclusive breastfeeding and household food security) were also significant, but the association was weaker. These findings suggest that the early postnatal period and especially the prenatal period may be a critical window for intervention.

Another key finding related to regional variation in patterns of stunting. Children were born significantly smaller in South Asia than in Africa and Latin America, but their change in Length for Age Z Score is less negative in the first months of life.

The presentation included way too much data to summarize here, and MNCH D&T and KI are still perusing the results to determine how they will shape our strategic agendas going forward. Please peruse the slides or watch the 75 minute video on your own. The Berkeley team will also be presenting findings from both the wasting and stunting rallies at the Grand Challenges meeting in Berlin.