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

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.

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