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Nestle Nutr Workshop Ser Pediatr Program. 2009;63:25-32; discussion 41-6, 259-68. doi: 10.1159/000209970.

Regional case studies--China.

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National Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China.


Over the last 30 years, the nutritional status of Chinese children has greatly improved due to economic development and improved incomes. In this review, the status of childhood malnutrition and obesity in China is evaluated based on the National Nutrition and Health Survey of 2002 (NNHS2002) and the survey on National Student Health and Physical Fitness in China of 2005. Compared with the NNHS1992 survey, the body weights and heights of preschool children in urban and rural areas have significantly improved, and the prevalence of malnutrition (underweight and stunting) has been significantly reduced. However, micronutrient deficiencies, including calcium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamins B1 and B2, are still common in preschool and school children. These data show that the growth and development of Chinese children are under our expectations. On the other hand, the national averaged prevalences of overweight and obesity in the children under 6 years of age are 3.4 or 2.0% as estimated by the Chinese or WHO standards, respectively. We are now facing double challenges: to prevent malnutrition and the increase in overweight and obesity in children.

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