News & AnalysisPUBLIC HEALTH

Despite Gains, Malnutrition Among China's Rural Poor Sparks Concern

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Science  27 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6080, pp. 402
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6080.402

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Despite tremendous gains in the past 2 decades, nearly 6.5 million children under age 5 in China are stunted, defined as being two or more standard deviations below World Health Organization standards for median height by age. In an initiative now under way, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention is seeking to improve nutrition for infants and young children. Toward that end, Chinese CDC this year plans to double the 100-strong scientific staff of its Institute of Nutrition and Health. The agency also intends to expand a pilot project in which infants whose diets were supplemented with whole-fat soybean flour fortified with micronutrients scored higher on intelligence tests and had better motor skills than infants given rice flour or no supplements.