Addressing Undernutrition in Mothers and Children

  • Peter A Cooper University of the Witwatersrand


Growth is a continuum through intrauterine life, infancy, childhood and adolescence. The effects of nutrition and growth have major effects on childhood morbidity and mortality. Their effects also persist for the remainder of the individual’s life and have an important influence on the incidence of so-called adult onset diseases of lifestyle. Factors influencing intrauterine growth are still poorly understood but important evidence-based interventions in this regard have been reported. The major determinant of growth in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) during the first six months of life is exclusive breast-feeding, and more effective and evidence-based interventions to improve breast-feeding rates and duration are urgently needed. The combination of normal intrauterine growth and good growth in the first six months of life, however, does not necessarily ensure that subsequent growth will remain satisfactory.

Author Biography

Peter A Cooper, University of the Witwatersrand
Professor Emeritus Department of Paediatrics and Child Health University of the Witwatersrand
How to Cite
Cooper, P. (2017). Addressing Undernutrition in Mothers and Children. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 30(1), 4-5. Retrieved from