AskDefine | Define stunted

Dictionary Definition

stunted adj : inferior in size or quality; "scrawny cattle"; "scrubby cut-over pine"; "old stunted thorn trees" [syn: scrawny, scrubby]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Verb

stunted
  1. past of stunt

Adjective

  1. prevented from growing or developing

Extensive Definition

Stunted growth is a reduced growth rate in human development. It is a primary manifestation of malnutrition in early childhood, including malnutrition during fetal development brought on by the malnourished mother. In developing countries, stunted growth is a common problem affecting a large percentage of children. Once established, stunting and its effects typically become permanent. Stunted children may never regain the height lost as a result of stunting, and most children will never gain the corresponding body weight. It also leads to premature death later in life because vital organs never fully developed during childhood.
Growth stunting is defined by comparing measurements of children's heights to the NCHS growth reference population: children who fall below the fifth percentile of the reference population in height for age are defined as stunted, regardless of the reason. As an indicator of nutritional status, comparison of children's measurements with growth reference curves may be used differently for populations of children than for individual children. The fact that an individual child falls below the fifth percentile for height for age on a growth reference curve may reflect normal variation in growth within a population: the individual child may be short simply because both his parents carried genes for shortness and not because of inadequate nutrition. However, if substantially more than 5% of an identified child population have height for age that is less than the fifth percentile on the reference curve, then the population is said to have a higher-than-expected prevalence of stunting, and inadequate nutrition is generally the first cause considered.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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