South Africa has made significant progress with some of the sustainable development goal targets. But with others its lagging far behind.
There have been a variety of approaches to tackle malnutrition. The continent needs to learn from past mistakes across the world.
South African learners receiving two meals, despite being from arguably poorer backgrounds, had statistically significantly lower stunting levels than children receiving only one meal.
Tackling the challenge of stunting in South Africa needs a convergence of science and policy along with better coordination at all levels of government.
Poor childhood conditions, such as exposure to poverty and stunting, are associated with long-term disadvantages to health, education, social adjustment and earnings.
An index developed to gauge progress towards the sustainable development goals and their targets shows that nine of the world's worst performing countries are in Africa.
There are several lessons that the world can learn from Brazil about how to rapidly reduce child stunting in 10 years.
Inequalities in the nutritional status of poor and rich have been mitigated through various social protection policies, but children in South Africa remain at risk of malnutrition.
Adults who had a low birthweight or were undernourished as young children are more likely to experience high blood pressure and obesity.
Over the last three years Kenya has seen marked improvements in its nutrition-related targets as a result of a national nutrition plan it has implemented.
Research around the importance of the first 1000 days has been gaining traction. The latest links stunting to malnutrition in children.
There are two extremes of malnutrition at play among South Africa's youth - both under nutrition and over nutrition.