Does malnutrition affect fecundity? A summary of evidence

Science  09 May 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4444, pp. 564-569
DOI: 10.1126/science.7367878


Moderate chronic malnutrition has only a minor effect on fecundity (reproductive capacity), and the resulting effect on fertility (actural reproduction) is very small. Among the fecundity components examined here in noncontracepting populations, age at menarche and the duration of lactational amenorrhea appear to be the ones most affected by malnutrition. But from neither of those effects can a difference in fertility of more than a few percent be expected between poorly and well-nourished women in developing countries.