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Determinants of stunting among children aged 0–59?months in Nepal: findings from Nepal Demographic and health Survey, 2006, 2011, and 2016
Authors: Ramesh P. Adhikari, Manisha Laxmi Shrestha, Ajay Acharya, and Nawaraj Upadhaya
Source: BMC Nutrition, 5(1):1-10; DOI: 10.1186/s40795-019-0300-0
Topic(s): Child health
Children under five
Country: Asia
Published: AUG 2019
Abstract: Background Stunting is one of the most commonly used indicators of child nutrition and health status. Despite significant efforts by the government and external development partners to improve maternal and child health and nutrition, stunting is consistently high in Nepal. This paper assesses the potential determinants of stunting among children aged 0–59?months using the last three successive Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys (NDHS). Methods We used three nationally representative cross-sectional household surveys, known as the NDHS- 2006, 2011 and 2016. Logistic regression was used to identify the potential determinants of stunting. The sub sample for this study includes n?=?5083 in 2006, n?=?2485 in 2011, and n?=?2421 in 2016. Results Rates of stunting decreased from nearly 50% in 2006 to about 36% in 2016. The prevalence of stunting was higher among children from larger families (51.0% in 2006, 41.1% in 2011, 38.7% in 2016), poor wealth quintile households (61.2% in 2006, 56.0% in 2011, 49.2% in 2016), and severely food insecure households (49.0% in 2011, 46.5% in 2016). For child stunting, the common determinants in all three surveys included: being from the highest equity quintile (OR: 0.58 in 2006, 0.26 in 2011, 0.28 in 2016), being older (OR: 2.24 in 2006, 2.58 in 2011, 1.58 in 2016), being below average size at time of birth (OR: 1.64 in 2006, 1.55 in 2011, 1.60 in 2016), and being affected by anemia (OR: 1.32 in 2006, 1.59 in 2011, 1.40 in 2016). Conclusions This study found that household wealth status, age of child, size of child at time of birth, and child anemia comprised the common determinants of stunting in all three surveys in Nepal. Study findings underscore the need for effective implementation of evidence-based nutrition interventions in health and non-health sectors to reduce the high rates of child stunting in Nepal.