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Association between order of birth and chronic malnutrition of children: a study of nationally representative Bangladeshi sample
Authors: Mosfequr Rahman
Source: Cadernos de Saúde Pública, 32(2); DOI: 10.1590/0102-311X00011215
Topic(s): Child health
Family structure
Country: Asia
Published: MAR 2016
Abstract: This paper examines the net effect of birth order on child nutritional status in Bangladesh using data from the Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey, 2011 (BDHS). Analyses were restricted to 4,120 surviving, lastborn singleton children who were younger than 36 months at the time of the survey. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between birth order and child nutritional status. Results indicate 38.1% children are stunted and 8.2% children are fifth or higher order birth. Order of birth is one of the significant predictors of child being stunted. Third order, fourth order, and fifth or higher order children are 24%, 30%, and 72%, respectively, more likely to be stunted after adjusting for all other variables. Besides birth order, results also indicate that child age, size at birth, birth intention, maternal education, maternal body mass index, wealth index, place of residence and mass media access exert strong influences over child malnutrition. Reducing birth rates which limit number of births and birth order as well may reduce child malnutrition in Bangladesh.