Data Definition and Indicators

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WHA Global TargetsData definitions of the World Health Assembly targets for maternal and young child nutrition

Under-5 stunting: Percentage of children 0-59 months who are below minus two (moderate and severe) and below minus three (severe) standard deviations from median height for age of the WHO Child Growth Standards.

Womens anaemia: Women of reproductive age (15-49 years)͕ both pregnant and non-pregnant͕ with hemoglobin levels below 12 g/ d> for women of reproductive age and below 11 g/d> for pregnant women.

Low birth weight: Percentage of live births that weighed less than 2500 grams at birth.

Under-5 overweight: Percentage of children 0-59 months who are above two (moderate and severe) standard deviations from median weight for age of the WHO Child Growth Standards.

0-5 months exclusive breastfeeding: Percentage of infants 0-5 months who are exclusively breasted.

Under-5 wasting: Percentage of children 0-59 months who are below minus two (moderate and severe) and below minus three (severe) standard deviations from median weight for height of the WHO Child Growth Standards.

Visit the World Health Organization for more information about the World Health Assembly targets

9789241506236_eng_001Data definitions of the nutrition related* non-communicable disease targets of the global monitoring framework

Adult diabetes: Age-standardized prevalence of raised blood glucose/diabetes among persons aged 18+ years (defined as fasting plasma glucose concentration ≥ 7.0 mmol/l (126 mg/dl) or on medication for raised blood glucose).

Adolescent overweight and obesity: Prevalence of overweight and obesity in adolescents (defined according to the WHO growth reference for school- aged children and adolescents, overweight – one standard deviation body mass index for age and sex, and obese – two standard deviations body mass index for age and sex).

Adult overweight and obesity: Age-standardized prevalence of overweight and obesity in persons aged 18+ years (defined as body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m² for overweight and body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m² for obesity).

Visit the World Health Organisation to learn more about the NCD Global Monitoring Framework.

*Nutrition related targets of the NCD Monitoring Framework as defined by the 2015 Global Nutrition Report


  1. Methodologies and underlying processes for the UNICEF-WHO-The World Bank joint estimates are outlined in the 2012 Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates, further updated with the 2015 release. Nationally representative anthropometry estimates, following the vetting process by each agency and once collectively agreed upon, are included in the regularly updated Joint Dataset.
  2. In an effort to maintain a consistent time series of internationally comparable anthropometric data, part of this harmonisation process for calculating regional and global averages and conducting trend analyses requires all anthropometric-related prevalence estimates to be re-calculated using a standard algorithm. This algorithm was programmed into the WHO Anthro software and macros, reviewed by MEASURE DHS13 and UNICEF. In addition, other institutions (e.g. US CDC) have incorporated the standard algorithm in their nutritional survey analytic process. In countries where the anthropometric data are collected as part of a Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) or Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), either the raw data are publicly available and/or the survey data processing programs already incorporate the WHO algorithm. In countries where anthropometric data are collected by a national nutrition survey (or another type of survey) that are analysed using a different algorithm, a re-calculation of anthropometry-related prevalence is often necessary in order to make estimates comparable across countries and over time.
  3. Anemia rate: Based in Model estimates available atͺproposedͺglobaltargetsͺbackgroundpaper.pdf

WHO: Nutrition Landscape Information System (NLiS)

Bringing together all existing WHO Global Nutrition Databases dynamically, as well as other existing food and nutrition-related data from partner agencies, NLIS is a web-based tool which provides nutrition and nutrition-related health and development data in the form of automated country profiles.

Madagascar Country Profile


FAOSTAT provides time-series and cross sectional data relating to food and agriculture for some 200 countries.

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The Global Nutrition Report

The Global Nutrition Report is one outcome of the Nutrition for Growth Summit held in London in 2013. The authors are a group of stakeholders, chaired by representatives of the Governments of Malawi and the UK, working to convene, connect and strengthen existing processes for reporting on nutrition.

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