Malnutrition is an underlying cause in more than a third of children’s deaths – 2.6 million a year. But it is not always recognised or recorded on death certificates, which is in part why it has not been effectively addressed. For those children who survive, chronic malnutrition causes devastating long-term damage to their physical and cognitive development. Today, 170 million children under five are stunted, meaning they are too short for their age and more likely to have poor cognitive development. This briefing summarises the interim results of research into stunting trends, drawing out the policy implications for governments and the international community to achieve the target.