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The Economic Burden of Malnutrition in Pregnant Women and Children under 5 Years of Age in Cambodia

Ibn360 Pte Ltd., 3 Pickering Street, 02-36 Nankin Row, China Square Central, Singapore 048660, Singapore
Office of the Council of Minister, Council of Agriculture of Rural Development, Russian Federation Blvd, Phnom Penh 12100, Cambodia
United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition section, no11 street 75, 12202 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Institute of Research for Development (IRD), UMR Nutripass IRD-UM2-UM1, 34000 Montpellier, France
ICF International, 530 Gaither Road, Suite 500, Rockville, MD 20850, USA
Independent Consultant, 606 Park Lane, Decatur, GA 30033, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 292;
Received: 24 November 2015 / Revised: 27 April 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 14 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients and National Strategies to Impact Health)
Malnutrition is locked in a vicious cycle of increased mortality, poor health, impaired cognitive development, slow physical growth, reduced learning capacity, inferior performance, and ultimately lower adult work performance and productivity. The consensus of global scientific evidence indicates that lowering the rates of malnutrition will be an indispensable component of any successful program to raise the quality of human capital and resources. This study used a “consequence model” to apply the coefficient risk-deficit on economic losses, established in the global scientific literature, to Cambodian health, demographic, and economic data to develop a national estimate of the value of economic losses due to malnutrition. The impact of the indicators of malnutrition analyzed represent a burden to the national economy of Cambodia estimated at 266 million USD annually (1.7% of GDP). Stunting is reducing the Cambodian economic output by more than 120 million USD, and iodine deficiency disorders alone by 57 million USD. This economic burden is too high in view of Cambodia’s efforts to drive economic development. The government should rapidly expand a range of low-cost effective nutrition interventions to break the current cycle of increased mortality, poor health and ultimately lower work performance, productivity, and earnings. View Full-Text
Keywords: malnutrition; stunting; economic burden; Cambodia; Demographic Health Survey; 2014 malnutrition; stunting; economic burden; Cambodia; Demographic Health Survey; 2014
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Moench-Pfanner, R.; Silo, S.; Laillou, A.; Wieringa, F.; Hong, R.; Hong, R.; Poirot, E.; Bagriansky, J. The Economic Burden of Malnutrition in Pregnant Women and Children under 5 Years of Age in Cambodia. Nutrients 2016, 8, 292.

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