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Factors Associated with Malnutrition among Under-Five Children: Illustration using Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey,2014 Data
Authors: Ashis Talukder
Source: Children (Basel), 4(10):88; DOI: 10.3390/children4100088
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Birth interval
Child health
Children under five
Country: Asia
Published: OCT 2017
Abstract: Child malnutrition remains one of the major public health problems in many parts of the world, especially in a developing country like Bangladesh. Several socioeconomic and demographic factors are responsible for this condition. The present study was conducted to uncover the risk factors associated with malnutrition among under-five children in Bangladesh by analyzing the data from a nationally representative Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) in 2014. The ordinal dependent variable—child nutrition status (severely malnourished, moderately malnourished, and nourished)—was developed by calculating weight-for-age Z score (WAZ). Bivariate analysis was conducted by performing gamma measure and chi-square test of independence to explore the association between child nutrition status and selected independent variables. To know the adjusted effects of covariates, a popular ordinal model—namely, the proportional odds (PO) model—was considered. All the selected covariates were found highly significant (p < 0.01) in the bivariate setup. However, in the multivariate setup, father’s and mother’s education, wealth index, mother’s body mass index (BMI), and antenatal care service during pregnancy were found highly significant (p < 0.01) factors for child malnutrition. Among the divisions, only Dhaka had more control on child malnutrition, compared to the Sylhet division. Birth interval of children was also reported as a significant factor at a 5% level of significance. Finally, the results of this paper strongly highlighted the necessity of increasing parent’s education level, improving the mother’s nutritional status, and increasing facilities providing antenatal care service in order to achieve better nutrition status among under-five children in Bangladesh.