Back to browse results
Households with a Stunted Child and Obese Mother: Trends and Child Feeding Practices in a Middle-Income Country, 1992–2008
Authors: Amina Aitsi-Selmi
Source: Maternal and Child Health Journal, [Epub ahead of print] DOI: 10.1007/s10995-014-1634-5
Topic(s): Child health
Country: Africa
Published: DEC 2014
Abstract: Middle-income countries in the intermediate stages of the nutrition transition are facing a complex picture of nutrition-related diseases with child stunting and maternal obesity coexisting within single households (SCOB). A debate exists as to whether SCOB is a true phenomenon or a statistical artefact. In this study, we examine time trends and determinants of SCOB in Egypt and test the hypothesis that increased child sugary snack consumption, and reduced fruit/vegetable consumption (markers of poor dietary diversity) are associated with SCOB. Data on 25,065 mothers and their children from the Egyptian Demographic and Health Surveys from 1992, 1995, 2005 and 2008 are used to examine trends in child stunting, maternal obesity and child–mother household type [normal/non-obese, stunted/non-obese, normal/obese, stunted/obese (SCOB)]. The association of child sugary snack and fruit/vegetable consumption with household type is also examined using multinomial logistic regression adjusting for maternal age, maternal education, child age, breastfeeding, household wealth and urban/rural residence. The prevalence of SCOB increased between the periods 1992/95 and 2005/08 despite reductions in stunting levels. This increase paralleled a rise in maternal obesity. Child sugary snack consumption was associated with higher odds (51 %) of belonging to a SCOB household compared with normal/non-obese households, while fruit/vegetable consumption was associated with lower odds (24 %). The results suggest the existence of a link between the rise in maternal obesity and an increase in SCOB, and an association between child sugary snack consumption and SCOB. Addressing SCOB may require a household—rather than individual-based approach to nutrition.