About one-third of Chinese youth suffer from malnutrition despite overall gains made in height and weight in the past decade, the official China Daily reported Monday.

The report quoted Education Commission Deputy Minister Zuo Shiyin as saying that under standards of the World Health Organization based on height-weight ratio, 28.98 percent of male students and 36.16 percent of female students are undernourished. The findings came from a two-year study of nearly 1 million Chinese aged 7 to 22.

The survey found that urban schoolboys have grown an average 1.2 inches and are 4.8 pounds heavier than 10 years ago. City girls are one inch taller and 3.1 pounds heavier. Young people in rural areas showed somewhat larger increases in both height and weight.

But the daily said the growth rates are still far below those of Japanese students owing mainly to the gap in nutritional levels.