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Does maternal overnutrition carry child undernutrition in India?
Authors: Mukesh Kumar,Pratap Mohanty
Source: PLOS ONE , Volume 17, issue 6; DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0265788
Topic(s): Child feeding
Country: Asia
Published: JUN 2022
Abstract: Background and objectives: Studies in low-and middle-income countries where nutrition transition is underway provides mixed evidence of double burden of maternal overnutrition and child undernutrition among mother-child pairs. Shifting dietary pattern and rapid increase in overweight/obesity among adults with persistent child undernutrition indicate that India is experiencing nutrition transition and double burden of malnutrition. Hence, the study explores the presence of and the factors associated with mother-child dyads of over- and undernutrition in India. Methods and materials: The study uses National Family Health Survey 2015–16 data. The analytic sample consists of 28,817 weighted mother-child pairs where an overweight/obese mother is paired with an undernourished child. The nutritional status of children is defined according to WHO 2006 child growth standards as underweight (i.e., low weight-for-age), stunting (i.e., low height-for-age) and wasting (i.e., low weight-for-height). Maternal overweight/obesity (i.e., BMI = 25 kg/m2) is defined using adult BMI criterion. Descriptive, bivariate, and adjusted multivariable logistic regression analysis are conducted. Results: Of the overweight/obese mothers, 21.3%, 26.5%, and 14% have underweight, stunted, and wasted children respectively. In adjusted models, maternal short stature (aOR: 2.94, 95% CI: 2.30–3.75), age of child (aOR: 3.29, 95% CI: 2.76–3.92), and poorest wealth status (aOR: 2.01, 95% CI: 1.59–2.54) are significant predictors of overweight/obese mothers and stunted child pairs. Similarly, poor wealth status (aOR: 1.68, 95% CI:1.32–2.14), maternal stature (aOR: 2.70, 95% CI: 2.08–3.52), and child aged 2–5 years (aOR: 1.77, 95% CI:1.51–2.08) are also significantly associated with higher occurrence of overweight/obese mother and-underweight child pairs. Conclusion: Findings of the study are consistent with the phase of nutrition transition and double burden of malnutrition. The paper concludes with suggestions to improve the socioeconomic condition, more strategic nutrition specific investments and policy interventions to eliminate all forms of malnutrition for achieving SDGs.