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Inequalities in Nutrition between Cambodian Women over the Last 15 Years (2000–2014)
Authors: Valérie Greffeuille, Prak Sophonneary, Arnaud Laillou, Ludovic Gauthier, Rathmony Hong, Rathavuth Hong, Etienne Poirot, Marjoleine Dijkhuizen, Frank Wieringa, and Jacques Berger
Source: Nutrients, 8(4): 224; doi:10.3390/nu8040224
Topic(s): Anemia
Women's health
Country: Asia
Published: APR 2016
Abstract: This study aimed to describe the trends over four nationally representative Demographic Health Surveys (2000, 2005, 2010, and 2014) of the nutritional status of women of reproductive age in Cambodia and to assess the main factors of inequality with regards to nutrition. The prevalence of undernutrition and over-nutrition evolved in opposite trends from 2000 to 2014, with a significant decrease in underweight and a significant increase in overweight women. This results in a shift, with overweight prevalence in women being higher than underweight for the first time in 2014. Anemia was constantly high and still affected 45% of women in 2014. Multivariate analysis showed that age, wealth index, maternal education, number of children, year of survey, and anemia were contributing factors for being underweight. Being overweight was positively related to increase in age, wealth index, number of children, and year of survey; and negatively related to anemia and increase in education level. The risk of anemia was higher in the poorest households and for less-educated women and women living in rural areas. Consequently, policies should target the most vulnerable women, especially the youngest, and support integrated interventions in the health, social, and agriculture sectors to reduce inequalities in nutrition between women.