Distribution patterns of overweight and malnutrition in low-middle-income countries

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Illustration by Pidjar com

Many low and middle-income countries currently face a double burden from disease, one of which is caused by nutritional status. Malnutrition and being overweight are the two different nutritional status conditions that have been proven to interfere with one’s health. The double burden of malnutrition and being overweight occurs when some people are malnourished, and some other people are overweight at the same time.

This study is an international collaboration that shows geospatial estimates of the prevalence of malnutrition and overweight in children under five years in 105 low and middle-income countries (LMICs) from 2000 to 2017. The incidence of malnutrition decreases overall across LMIC between years 2000 and 2017, from 8.4% (62.3 (55.1-70.8) million) to 6.4% (58.3 (47.6-70.7) million), but are expected to remain at of the Global Nutrition Target announced by WHO at

This research shows that Indonesia is still experiencing a double burden caused by malnutrition and overweight, where along with uneven economic growth, cases of malnutrition still occur in some communities while cases of overweight begin to emerge in other parts of society. It is a challenge that must be considered by policymakers and implementers so that public health can be improved. This research can provide new perspectives for researchers, policymakers and public health institutions in their efforts to address global problems in children in this low and middle-income country.

Author: Ninuk Hariyani, drg., M. Kes., MPH., PhD.



Kinyoki DK, Ross JM, Lazzar-Atwood A et.al. Mapping local patterns of childhood overweight and wasting in low- and middle-income countries between 2000 and 2017. Nature Medicine, 2020. 26; p. 750–759. DOI: 10.1038/s41591-020-0807-6

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