Theses and Dissertations



Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Tolar-Peterson, Terezie

Committee Member

Pylate, Leah

Committee Member

Mathews, Rahel

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion


The purpose of this study was to identify specific nutrients or nutritional biomarkers of dietary intake that are associated with stunting among children ages 2 and older in sub-Saharan Africa. This is a systematic review conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Twelve studies from sub-Saharan Africa met the eligibility criteria, including 11 observational studies and one randomized control trial. Nine of the 12 studies assessed dietary intake of macronutrients. Four studies found a significant association between proteins and stunting. Four found that children with stunting had lower dietary fat intakes or lower blood or serum levels of certain fatty acids. Five assessed dietary intake of micronutrients or looked at serum levels micronutrients. Children with stunting had lower intakes or biomarkers for, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and choline. Children with stunting tend to consume diets lower in nutrients of high-quality protein foods like essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and micronutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and choline.