Study on child development in Lao PDR

19 December 2023

Anthropological study on healthy child development in Lao PDR

In Lao PDR, 33.1% of children under 5 years of age are still affected by stunting, which is higher than the average for the Asia region (21.8%). The wasting number reaches 9.0% of children under 5 years of age affected, quite similar to the average for the Asia region (8.9%).

The Global Nutrition Report


Nutriset Group is committed to developing nutritional solutions that include all the amino acids, fats, vitamins, and minerals to ensure the good development of the child suffering from malnutrition. Alongside our activities, we deep dive into further understanding child development from an anthropological approach.

The results of this study aim to provide new indicators describing the development of a child. Unicef designed the Early Child Development Index (ECDI) which is made up of the following four domains: literacy and numeracy, physical ability, socio-emotional, and learning.


Recently, Forssman et al. (Forssman et al. Arch Dis Child. 2017) have developed a method for evaluating cognitive development by measuring the monitoring of the child’s eye movement by infrared detection and freeing itself from the economic, cultural, or educational contexts of the child. Thus, existing tools are based on psychological or motor skills examinations of the child. In this study, we decided to take a different angle and consider the development of the child by collecting and analysing the verbatim statements of the people closest to the child.

We encourage you to discover this study published in the Field Exchange – Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN): “Caregivers’ perceptions of children’s diet and development in northern Laos” co-authored by:

  • Sophie-Anne Sauvegrain, Anthropologist and Monique CHAN HUOT (PhD), Director of Innovation at Groupe Nutriset,
  • Didier Bertrand, Independent Researcher in Cultural Psychology in Laos and,
  • Vanphanom Sychareun, Public Health Professor; Phonevilay Santisouk, Senior Lecturer and Vilamon Chanthaluesay, Teaching Associate at the University of Sciences and Health in Vientiane, Laos


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