How strong is our evidence for effective management of wasting? A review of systematic and other reviews

Authors: Patrick Webb Publisher: Food & Nutrition Bulletin

A need for improved empirical evidence for the effectiveness of interventions used in the management of child
wasting (moderate and/or severe acute malnutrition) has recently been highlighted. There is no lack of published
studies in this field, but when examined through the lens of systematic review protocols, few of these studies
stand up to rigorous methodological critique. This paper summarizes the current state of knowledge, as supported
by high-quality research included in multiple systematic reviews. It also elaborates on the criteria and standards
used in such reviews. The paper highlights the weaknesses of many studies that could, with more care during study
design and reporting, result in a larger body of evidence being available to policy makers and program implementers
dealing with child wasting.