In poor countries, over a quarter of children under the age of five years are malnourished. The corresponding rate in rich countries is below 3%. Unfortunately, being undernourished as a child is associated with worse economic outcomes as an adult, largely a result of worse adult health. Thus, malnutrition among children creates one of the starkest discrepancies in individual well-being between rich and poor countries. Yet, income growth does not seem to be the solution per se. Despite rapid economic growth in the past 20 years, South Asia, for example, continues to have inordinately high levels of undernourished children. This issue brings together a set of papers on trends, causes, and potential policy solutions related to undernutrition in South Asia.
Jayachandran, Seema, and Rohini Pande. "Introduction to Issue on Malnutrition." CESifo Economic Studies 58.2 (April 26, 2012): 253-255.