Child Food Poverty: Nutrition deprivation in early childhood

One in four children today is living in severe food poverty. This means that they are surviving on one or two food groups a day, and on some days even less. The scale of this deprivation is alarming, and the overall slow progress to address this crisis hides deep inequalities at both global and regional levels. To put it into stark numbers, this means that 181 million children are not having the equal opportunity to grow, develop, and learn to their full potential. They risk falling into a cycle of malnutrition and poverty that will have consequences for them today and into the future; for their children and for generations to come. This report analyses the drivers of food poverty in early childhood. We found that household income is not the sole determinant of protecting children from food poverty. In fact, while almost half of children experiencing severe child food poverty live in poor households, more than half belong to households where factors other than income drive child food poverty. This means that in addition to working to lift families out of poverty, we must address poor food environments and poor child feeding practices. These challenges, in addition to household income, are denying millions of young children the nutritious and diverse foods they need to grow and develop to their full potential.