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Hunger. Concept of Hunger Multidimensional Approach to Hunger Global Hunger Index Child Malnutrition. Concept of Hunger. Hunger is defined in many ways:

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  • Concept of Hunger
  • Multidimensional Approach to Hunger
  • Global Hunger Index
  • Child Malnutrition
concept of hunger
Concept of Hunger

Hunger is defined in many ways:

  • The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) defines it as consumption of fewer than 1800 kilocalories a day – the minimum required to live a healthy and productive life.


  • Metabolism rates are different across age, gender, climate etc.
  • Required calories depend on type of work (sedentary or manual), climate, age, etc.
  • Captures only one dimension of hunger – energy intake
  • Ignores disparities across social groups : children in particular more vulnerable
global hunger index ghi
Global Hunger Index (GHI)
  • We require multi-dimensional approach to hunger – energy intake, deficiency in nutrition, and must account for vulnerable section of the society.

Global Hunger Index (GHI) has three components:

  • Percentage of undernourished population (PUN)
  • Percentage of underweight children under 5 (CUW)
  • Percentage of children dying before the age of five (CM)
under nutrition
  • Under-nutrition signifies deficiencies in energy, protein, essential vitamins and minerals.
  • It can be result of inadequate intake of food – in terms of quantity or quality– or poor utilization of nutrients due to infections or illnesses.
  • Malnutrition refers to both under-nutrition as well as over-nutrition (problem of over-eating or unbalanced diet).
global hunger index
Global Hunger Index


  • Higher GHI score indicates more hunger
  • The index varies between a minimum of 0 and a maximum of 100.
severity of hunger
Severity of Hunger

The severity of hunger using GHI score is measured as follows:

GHI Score

< 5 Low

5.00 -9.9 Moderate

10.0-19.9 Serious

20.0-29.9 Alarming

> 29.9 Extremely Alarming

childhood under nutrition
Childhood Under-Nutrition
  • Child under-nutrition manifests itself in different ways. The three main measures of child under-nutrition are:
  • Stunting – Low height for one’s age – It reflects the cumulative effects of chronic under- nutrition.
  • Wasting – Low weight for one’s height – It reflects acute under-nutrition resulting from inadequate food and nutrient intake and/or repeated or severe disease.

3. Underweight – Low weight for one’s age – It reflects either stunting or wasting or both.

measurement of under nutrition
Measurement of Under-Nutrition
  • Researchers use Z-score to measure the extent of under-nutrition.
  • These scores reflect how much a child’s weight or height deviates from the standard for healthy child growth set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The closer a child’s Z score is to zero, the closer he or she is to the median of the international growth reference standard.
  • Under-nutrition is defined as a Z score below -2 and severe under-nutrition as Z score below -3.
policy measures
Policy Measures
  • Improving care for women and children
  • Improving access to health care
  • Improving access to quality foods