Food supplementation in children with moderate acute malnutrition
Moderate acute malnutrition in children is defined as a weight-for-height between -3 and -2 Z-scores of the of the WHO Child Growth Standards median, without oedema. Globally, an estimated 40 million preschool-age children are moderately acutely malnourished.
The dietary management of children with moderate acute malnutrition is based on the optimal use of locally available foods to improve nutritional status and prevent severe acute malnutrition. In situations of food shortage, or where some nutrients are not sufficiently available through local foods, supplementary foods have been used to treat children with moderate acute malnutrition.
Currently there are no evidence-informed recommendations on the composition of supplementary foods used to treat children with moderate acute malnutrition. WHO has published a technical note that summarizes existing knowledge and presents principles on the dietary management of children with moderate acute malnutrition. The technical note also proposes a nutrient composition profile for supplementary foods.
Children 6–59 months of age with moderate acute malnutrition need to receive nutrient-dense foods to meet their extra needs for weight and height gain and functional recovery.
Additional principles of nutritional management of children with moderate acute malnutrition can be found in the guidance document, under 'WHO documents' below.
Status: not currently available
Other guidance documents
Technical note: Supplementary foods for the management of moderate acute malnutrition in infants and children 6–59 months of age
Related Cochrane review
- Specially formulated foods for treating children with moderate acute malnutrition in low- and middle-income countries