Malnutrition is associated with half of all deaths in children under the age of five each year. The risk of death is particularly high for children with severe acute malnutrition, up to 20 times higher than a healthy child.
Further consequences of malnutrition could lead to high level of anemia, low weight gain during pregnancy, acute infections and chronic diseases. It also significantly affects cognitive development and learning achievements of children and this puts additional stress on health care expenditures.
(MSF, WHO via China.org.cn December 2, 2008)