Significant risk factors for childhood malnutrition: Evidence from an Asian developing country

Type Journal Article - Science Journal of Public Health
Title Significant risk factors for childhood malnutrition: Evidence from an Asian developing country
Volume 4
Issue 1-1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 16-27
Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) is a major health problem in developing countries and it affects the physical
growth and logical development of children. Data from the Demographic and Health Survey Bangladesh were used to evaluate
the influences of several significant socioeconomic, demographic, health system and community factors on the current status of
malnutrition among 5333 under-5 years children. Results reveal that older age, smaller birth size and maternal poor nutritional
status were most significant factors for high prevalence of malnutrition which was assessed using three standard anthropometric
indicators, such as underweight, stunting and wasting each of two kinds severe and moderate, following the WHO guidelines and
cut-off points. The variables that were associated with severe as well as moderate underweight and stunting were father’s poor
education, household lower economic condition and division of residence. Mother’s poor education and increased age of
household head were associated with severe underweight and stunting. Low media exposure and respiratory sickness had
significant effects on severe as well as moderate underweight and wasting. Some factors such as fathers occupation, number of
under-5 children, place of delivery, feeding practice of liquids and feeding practice of solid foods were significantly associated
with severe underweight, among these factors some had significant effect on severe stunting, or moderate stunting or both, and
also significant effect on severe wasting or moderate wasting or both. In addition, measles vaccine had strong positive effect on
child nutritional status but higher level of months of breastfeeding had negative effect. The overall underweight stunting and
wasting were observed in 47.1%, 44% and 10.4% (respectively among them 12.8%, 17.9% and1.1% were severely underweight,
stunting and wasting) of the children respectively. A vast majority of Bangladeshi children (56.5%) were suffered some degree of
PEM. Appropriate intervention programs should be formulated to improve socioeconomic and maternal conditions collaborated
with vaccination and childcare to reduce the overall malnutrition.

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