Nearly one out of every two children under 5 years of age in Guatemala is stunted. In the Western Highlands, the situation is far worse, with 7 out of every 10 children stunted. Stunting causes children to be shorter than healthy children of the same age. Stunting is a result of chronic malnutrition caused by inadequate quantity and variety of nutrient-rich foods and/or by repeated illnesses, and can lead to adverse health and physical and cognitive development. Stunting in young children increases the risk of: mortality from infections, impaired cognitive ability, late school enrollment, poor school performance, dropping out of school, lower future adult labor productivity, and chronic diseases in adulthood. Preventing stunting through key interventions during the critical 1,000 days from pregnancy through the first 2 years of life is important because it can become increasingly difficult to reverse stunting’s negative consequences after this period.
Improving Dietary Diversity to Enhance Women’s and Children’s Nutritional Status in Guatemala’s Western Highlands
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