Child chronic undernutrition, as measured by stunting, is prevalent in low- and middle-income countries and is among the major threats to child development. While stunting and its implications for cognitive development have been considered irreversible beyond early childhood there is a lack of consensus in the literature on this as there is some evidence of recovery from stunting and that this recovery may be associated with improvements in cognition. Less is known however, about the drivers of growth recovery and the aspects of recovery linked to cognitive development.
In this paper the authors investigate the factors associated with growth recovery and faltering through age 12 years and the implications of the incidence, timing, and persistence of post-infancy recovery from stunting for cognitive development using longitudinal data from Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam.
This study uses data from Young Live, an international study of childhood poverty, following the lives of 12,000 children in 4 countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam) over 15 years. Young Lives is funded by the UK Department for International Development.
Georgiadis, Andreas, Liza Benny, Duc Le Thuc, S. Galab, Prudhvikar Reddy, Tassew Woldehanna (2017) Growth recovery and faltering though early adolescence: Determinants and implications for cognitive development, in: Social Science & Medicine, Volume 179, early online edition March 2017
Growth recovery and faltering though early adolescence: Determinants and implications for cognitive development