South East Asian Nutrition Surveys (SEANUTS)
The SEANUTS II results are out
Scientists studied nearly 14,000 children in Indonesia*, Malaysia*, Thailand, and Vietnam. This video shows the key results from the large-scale research on the nutrition and health status of children.
The results show a ‘triple burden’ of malnutrition; the coexistence of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight & obesity. Below you find more specific insights.
Stunting (impairment of growth) is a primary manifestation of malnutrition and is especially prevalent in young children. Children with stunting are at risk of poor child development, poor school performance, and reduced intellectual capacity.
Calcium & vitamin D**
The majority of children from the four countries do not meet the Estimated Average Requirement of calcium and vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D are important for growth and development of bones. In addition, vitamin D is an important nutrient for supporting the functioning of the immune system.
Study results show that more than 24% of children younger than 4 years have anemia. Anemia is a condition where the blood has reduced ability there is insufficient healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen in the body. Anemia can impact children’s cognitive development, physical growth and immunity.
Overweight & obesity
In Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, about 30% of older children is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is associated with higher chances of obesity in later life. These children also have an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in adulthood.
* Results are representative for Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia for Java and Sumatra
** Results are based on an one-day 24-hr recall
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2. Soliman A, De Sanctis V, Alaaraj N, Ahmed S, Alyafei F, Hamed N, et al. Early and long-term consequences of nutritional stunting: From childhood to adulthood. Acta Biomed. 2021;92(1):1–12.
3. Sahoo K, Sahoo B, Choudhury A, Sofi N, Kumar R, Bhadoria A. Childhood obesity: causes and consequences. J Fam Med Prim Care. 2015;4(2):187–92.
4. World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight. Accessed on 8 June 2022.
5. Harkness LS, Bonny AE. Calcium and vitamin D status in the adolescent: Key roles for bone, body weight, glucose tolerance, and estrogen biosynthesis. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2005;18(5):305–11.
6. Kotecha P V. Nutritional anemia in young children with focus on Asia and India. Indian J Community Med. 2011;36(1):8–16.
Download this infographic with first key results of SEANUTS II (pdf)
Malnutrition is still a huge challenge among children in Southeast AsiaRead the full press release here
On June 17 and 18, 2022 the SEANUTS II conference ‘New insights on the nutrition and health status of Southeast Asian children’, took take.
Now watch the first recorded presentations and write ups of the speakers
The first edition of SEANUTS ran in South East Asia from 2010 to 2013 and demonstrated the double burden of malnutrition (undernutrition co-existing with overnutrition) and hidden hunger amongst young children in the region. In 2018, FrieslandCampina kicked off SEANUTS II, its second large-scale nutrition survey in South East Asia, aiming to deliver up to date information on nutritional status, dietary intake, physical activity and lifestyle factors of the 6 months to 12 years old child population, together with four principal investigators from academia in the participating countries.