Malnutrition is directly or indirectly responsible for approximately one-half of all childhood deaths globally.1 Malnutrition is also a major cause of morbidity; in fact, iron-deficiency anemia was the leading cause of years lived with disability among children and adolescents in 2013.2 Malnutrition has 3 principal constituents: protein-energy malnutrition (PEM), micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight/obesity. As we transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals, tackling malnutrition holds even more importance. Good nutrition is an essential driver of sustainable development because it plays a critical role in child brain development, generates broad-based economic growth, and signals the fulfillment of people’s rights to food and good health.

Malnutrition, however, remains widespread globally, and its recognition and prioritization are often neglected by clinicians, practitioners, and policy makers. Of the $10.3 billion budgeted in 2017 for funding US global health programs, the majority is focused on diseases such as HIV,...

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