The Economic Consequences of Malnutrition in Lao PDR: a Damage Assessment Report

Jack Bagriansky • Saykham Voladet
Conference paper Child Poverty and Social Protection Conference • September 2013

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(English, 28 pages)


When indicators of suboptimal child nutrition are widespread, the aggregate burden on national economic growth can be significant. Data from the Lao Social Indicator Survey 2011 (LSIS) and the National Nutrition Survey of 2006 (NNS) suggest nearly 2 million Lao citizens, mainly women and children, suffer some form of undernutrition – and cannot achieve their full potential as students, workers, citizens and parents. The 10 indicators of undernutrition summarized in Table 1 suggest undernutrition represents a significant public health problem according to WHO criteria – and indicates a heavy burden on the human, social and economic development of Lao PDR.


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