The World Health Organization defines malnutrition as:
Deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients.
There are two main groups of malnutrition.
- Undernutrition, including:
- stunting (low height for age)
- wasting (low weight for height)
- underweight (low weight for age)
- micronutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies (a lack of important vitamins and minerals).
- Overnutrition, including:
- diet-related non-communicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer).
It is important to identify and address both types of malnutrition. Globally, countries collect data about nutrition. We will consider the latest Global Nutrition Report next.