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The association between foodgroups and childhood anemiain Zambia, based on the analy-sis of Zambia Demographic andHealth Survey 2018
Authors: Minato Nakazawa, Bharat Negi, and Minato Nakazawa
Source: Journal of Public Health in Africa, Volume 13, issue 2199
Topic(s): Anemia
Child feeding
Child health
Country: Africa
Published: APR 2022
Abstract: High prevalence of anemia among children has been an important public health concern globally. In Zambia, the prevalence of anemia among children aged 6-59 months was 58%. Previous studies have suggested that feeding a variety of food prevents anemia. However, it is not yet determined if out of several food groups available locally, some foods have played crucial roles in anemia among young children. The objective of this study was to find out the food groups that were associated with childhood anemia among Zambian children aged6-59 months. We have obtained the individual-level data related to health and nutrition of the Zambia Demographic Health Survey(ZDHS) 2018 with permission. Children’sfeeding, demographic, and household information were analyzed using logistic regression models. Children who consumed foodmade from grains (AOR:1.2; 95%CI: 1.01-1.46; p=0.044) and cheese or food made from milk (AOR:2.7; 95%CI: 1.19-6.00;p=0.018) showed relatively higher prevalence of anemia than those who did not. Additionally, malnutrition, mother’s anemia and education, and area of living were also significantly associated with prevalence of anemia. Most common food in Zambia is food made from grain. Grain consists of phytic acids which can prevent iron absorption. This is a potential reason for the high-level anemia among children. Dephytinization strategies should be considered through further studies.