- February 16, 2016
Worldwide, one-quarter of children under five years are short for their age (stunted), indicative of chronic malnutrition. Lipid-based nutrient supplements containing micronutrients have little to no effect in reducing child stunting. We examined the relationship between circulating metabolites with stunting in young children in Africa. Stunted children had lower serum levels of all nine essential amino acids compared with non-stunted children. These results challenge the widespread assumption that protein intake is adequate among young children in developing countries. The findings support the idea that children at high risk of stunting are not receiving adequate dietary intake of essential amino acids.