Outcomes Nutritional status

Double burden of malnutrition


The double burden of malnutrition according to weight and height data is defined as a high prevalence of both undernutrition and overweight in at least one population group. High prevalence of undernutrition is defined as prevalence of wasting >15% or stunting >30% in children under 5 years or prevalence of underweight in women >20%. High prevalence of overweight is defined as adult or child overweight prevalence greater than 20%, 30%, or 40%.


The double burden of malnutrition highlights a food system where inequitable distribution of resources leads to undernutrition in some populations and overnutrition in other populations. Countries may be experiencing increasingly higher prevalences of overweight and obesity while continuing to have persistently high prevalences of undernutrition.