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Nation sees decline in adolescent stunting
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Nation sees decline in adolescent stunting

The national prevalence of adolescent stunting in China has been declining over the past three decades, despite regional disparities, according to a supplement to the Journal of Adolescent Health for China.

Entitled "Adolescent Health in China: Epidemiology, Policy, Financing and Service Provision," the supplement, which includes six papers, was jointly released by UNICEF China and the Peking University Health Science Center.

Adolescent health is a priority of the Chinese government, and the series of results presented in the supplement will make a vital contribution to child and adolescent health-related policymaking, said Zhang Ning, deputy director of the science center.

An article in the supplement reported that mortality among Chinese children aged 5 to 14 declined from eight to two per 1,000 from 1990 to 2018, faster than the global average.

It also pointed out that the adolescent mortality burden has shifted from communicable to noncommunicable diseases since the 1950s.

In addition, injuries dominated the causes of adolescent death in China. For example, road injuries and drowning were the leading causes of death in 2016.

In another study, researchers found that the country's adolescents are threatened by obesity and dental cavities. The findings indicated that the prevalence of permanent dental cavities decreased gradually between 1995 and 2000 in China but increased from 2000 to 2014, and the prevalence in rural areas surpassed urban areas for the first time in 2014.Researchers believe changes in dietary patterns might have contributed to the transformation.

Other studies also shed light on the country's allocation of spending on adolescent health, the framework of adolescent health indicators and adolescent healthcare in hospitals.

Douglas Noble, deputy representative to UNICEF China, said the organization will continue to provide support for research into adolescent health, accelerate advocacy and promote the adolescent health agenda to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

XinhuaShen Yi

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