Temperature and children’s nutrition: evidence from West Africa

There has been substantial progress on improving children’s nutrition in Africa: stunting (height-for-age z scores < -2) and wasting (weight-for-height z scores < -2) rates have fallen in most sub-Saharan African countries since 2000 (Osgood-Zimmerman et al. 2018). This progress is largely attributed to increased financial investments and scaling up of child health interventions (Dieleman et al. 2016). However, climatic trends indicate that African temperatures have been rising since the 1970s (Collins 2011) and are expected to continue rising (Hulme et al. 2001), which could put the progress on children’s nutrition at risk.