study funded by the Canadian government through the Grand Challenges Canada initiative has identified the risk factors that are associated with child stunting in developing countries.

Based on their findings, they prescribe fundamental changes in approaches to remedy stunting,which today largely focus on children, calling for greater emphasis on interventions aimed at mothers and environmental factors such as poor water and sanitation and indoor biomass fuel use.

The study reports that in 2011 some 44 million (36 percent) of two-year-olds in 137 developing countries were stunted, defined as being two or more standard deviations shorter than the global median. About one quarter (10.8 million) of those stunting cases were attributable to full-term babies being born abnormally small.