Child Nutrition in Disaster: A Scoping Review

Akindele Abimibayo Adeoya, Hiroyuki Sasaki, Mikiko Fuda, Tomoko Okamoto, Shinichi Egawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Disaster endangers the nutritional health of children with resulting effects on their mental, physical, and social well-being. Adequate infant and young child feeding (IYCF) in disaster prevents malnutrition and save lives. Although much progress has been made in nutritional support in disaster, malnutrition among children is still evident. This scoping review study was conducted to identify gaps in child nutrition in disaster. Published articles (1946-2020) in PubMed were sought primarily and were assessed with some additional relevant articles. Overall, 103 articles were included in the scope of this review. Increased morbidity and mortality from malnutrition (macro-and micro-nutrient deficiencies), communicable diseases and mental health issues are nutritional effects of disaster. Pre-disaster malnutrition, food insecurity, living environments in shelters, poor breast-feeding practices, sociocultural factors, and organizational and administrative challenges strongly affect child nutrition in disaster. The efforts and collaboration of relief agencies resulted in the development of standardized guidelines and codes represented as the Sphere Project and Operational Guideline for IYCF in Emergency. This study recommends a well-coordinated and explicit approach that includes preparedness, advocacy, development/updating of policies, and education of children, family and relief aid workers on nutrition. Periodic nutritional assessment of children and nutritional support in disaster by designated IYCF authority are necessary. Education and participation of the general population are also important. Future assessments must examine food allergies in children and nutrition effects on child mental health in disaster.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-118
Number of pages16
JournalTohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Child nutrition
  • Disaster medicine
  • Food security
  • Public health
  • Relief aid


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