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Malnutrition inhibits children from normal development and leads to irreversible consequences with respect to mental and physical performance.

Materials and methods

We analysed the aggregate data in the 2013–2015 reports of regional visiting nurses on the nutritional status of Hungarian children at the ages of 1, 3, and 5 years. In the regions of Hungary, stratum-specific proportions were calculated with 95% confidence intervals for the proportion of children with lower than a 10th percentile score.


The proportions of malnutrition among children whose score was below the 10th percentile nationwide were 8.14% [8.03%–8.25%] at age 1, 6.87% [8.03%–8.25%] at age 3, and 5.68% [5.59%–5.78%] at age 5. In all three age groups, the proportion of children below the 10th percentile was significantly lower in the Central Hungarian region than in the national reference proportion and in Northern Hungary and the Southern Great Plain.

Discussion and conclusions

These results indicate that Hungary’s incidence of malnutrition is no better than the worldwide average. To improve this situation, Hungarian healthcare professionals must at least begin following a precise, standardized protocol for the compulsory assessment of nutritional status in the framework of their reporting on the primary care of children.

Open access



Understanding the role of nutrition in the development of children’s physical, mental, and motor abilities.


Examination of visiting nurse reports on feeding habits and perceived developmental delays in infants at 1 year of age between 2010 and 2015.


Between 0 and 6 months of age the lowest number of new cases (4.4/100,000) identified by health screenings can be anticipated among the infants feeding exclusively with breastmilk. We find a similarly low number of identifiable new cases among infants nourished with breastmilk where it is mixed with other nutrients (4.7 new cases) while the most cases of delayed motor development can be anticipated among infants nourished with infant formulae (48.4 new cases).


The role of nutrition in infants’ motor development is vital, especially breastfeeding. Regular health status checks of infants are inevitably required for the adoption of higher-level health-policy decisions which may induce projects, programmes, and strategies aimed at the improvement of health. Thorough documentation and continuous collection of the pertinent data is likewise requisite.

Open access