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Rapid response to:

Practice Clinical updates

Undernutrition and severe acute malnutrition in children

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4877 (Published 16 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4877
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Click here for a visual overview of screening and referring children under 5 years old with acute undernutrition

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Undernutrition and severe acute malnutrition in children is measured in terms of z- scores or No. of standard deviations in WHO nomenclature

AUTHOR DEFINES MODERATE AND SEVERE UNDERNUTRITION AS FOLLOWS:

Moderate acute malnutrition
Low weight for height/length (<−2 to ≥−3 standard deviations of median WHO child growth standard)

Severe acute malnutrition
Very low weight for height/length (<−3 standard deviations of median WHO child growth standard) .

Here we would ask what is subclinical (mild) acute malnutrition.

We furthermore add that -2 standard deviation is -2 z-scores and -3 standard deviations is -3 z scores. And zero SD is mean or median whatever in usage.1

Reference:

1. http://www.who.int/nutgrowthdb/about/introduction/en/index5.html

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 November 2017
Neeru Gupta
Scientist F
Jugal Kishore, Neeta Kumar, Akshun Jani, KK Jani.
Indian Council of Medical Research
Ansari Nagar, New Delhi-110029.