|Maternal undernutrition as proxy indicators of their offspring’s undernutrition: evidence from 2011 Ethiopia demographic and health survey|
||Alinoor Mohamed Farah, Bilal Shikur Endris, and Seifu Hagos Gebreyesus
||BMC Nutrition, 5(1): 1-12; DOI: 10.1186/s40795-019-0281-z
Body Mass Index (BMI)
The intergenerational continuity of undernutrition is influenced by shared genetic, household socio-economic and cultural resources which will be associated with the mother and the child nutritional status, possibly to the same degree. Provided that this assumption is valid, maternal height and BMI could be a simple way of measuring nutritional status of their children.
Data were obtained from the 2011 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS 2011). An analytical sample of 8, 505 children whose mothers are not pregnant and live with their biological mothers was included. The bivariate associations between nutritional indices of the mother and the children were analyzed with Pearson correlation coefficients. The sensitivity, specificity, predictive values and area under Roc curves were calculated. Logistics regression for binary outcomes was also used to evaluate the predictors of child undernutrition.
Children who experienced stunting, underweight or wasting had mothers with lower mean BMI than those who did not (p?0.001). Maternal and child nutritional status were positively correlated. The sensitivity of maternal underweight (defined by BMI?18.5?kg/m2) as a predictor of child’s nutritional status (<-?2 z-scores) is low, failing to reach 50% for any of the child nutrition indices. In logistics regression, maternal BMI was associated with stunting, underweight and wasting (p?0.001) while maternal height was only associated with stunting and underweight (p?0.001).
The sensitivity and specificity of maternal anthropometric indicators to identify growth deficits among children were too low to justify using maternal indicators as a replacement for child growth measurements.