Child malnutrition and climate in Sub-Saharan Africa: An analysis of recent trends in Kenya

Kathryn Grace, Frank Davenport, Chris Funk, Amy M. Lerner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


In Kenya - where undernutrition rates are high and the population-environment balance is delicate - the risk of declining food availability has become increasingly concerning as indications of drying trends threaten current food systems. The purpose of this research is to determine if climate variables are related to rates of childhood stunting in Kenya. Specifically we use multi-level regression models at the cluster/household level to evaluate the correlation between surface temperatures, rainfall levels and stunting among children aged one to five. Our results suggest that as Kenya continues to experience warming and drying, malnutrition rates will increase. We propose that investments in infrastructure and expansion of education can mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-413
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Geography
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful for the assistance and support of Dr. Greg Husak. This work was supported by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) and USGS award #G09AC00001. An earlier version of this work was presented at the Population Association of America conference in 2011.


  • Climate
  • Food security
  • Kenya
  • Malnutrition
  • Stunting

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