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National Nutrition Survey Afghanistan (2013)

The objectives of survey were to review the current nutritional situation, establish the trends and look for associated factors that influence the nutritional status of the population in Afghanistan.
NNS-2013 was a cross-sectional survey at household level across Afghanistan. The survey used both quantitative and qualitative methods to achieve the information. The survey consisted of interviews, measurement of anthropometric indices, collection and testing of biologic specimens. A multi-stage cluster methodology was adopted for the survey. Sample size was calculated to provide national and provincial representative estimates. The survey was conducted in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan targeting 18,360 households.
Key findings: 
Comparing the current nutrition situation with available information from almost a decade back, Afghanistan has made progress with reduction in the prevalence of stunting and underweight among children of 0-59 months of age and rates of malnutrition among women of reproductive age. Stunting in children less than 5 years has decreased from 60.5% in NNS 2004 to 40.5% in NNS 2013. The prevalence of underweight was reduced from 33.7% in NNS 2004 to 24.6% in NNS 2013. Similarly significant under-nutrition (BMI <18.5 kg/m2) among women of reproductive age reduced from 20.9% in NNS 2004 to 9.2% in NNS 2013. In NNS 2004, 12.2% and 3.4% women were overweight (BMI 25.0-29.9 kg/m2) and obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2), respectively, whereas in NNS 2013 29.0% (more than double) were overweight and 8.3% were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2). Although there is decline in prevalence of stunting and underweight rates of malnutrition are still high. Though, some improvement in rates of significant malnutrition (BMI <18.5 kg/m2) among women of reproductive age was noted, there was a converse increase in the burden of overweight and obesity. It must be recognized however that the 2004 survey was preliminary and at national level.
Sample size: 
Assessment Report: 
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Date(s): 
01 Jan 2013 to 31 Dec 2013
Report completed
Unit(s) of Measurement: 
Collection Method(s): 
Field Interview
Population Type(s): 
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
Government of Afghanistan - Ministry of Public Health
United Nations Children's Fund
Other location: 
Infant and Young Child Feeding