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Socio-biomedical predictors of child nutrition in India: an ecological analysis from a nationally representative Demographic and Health Survey, 2015-2016
Authors: Ranjan Kumar Prusty, Mohan Bairwa, Fahmina Anwar, Vijay Kumar Mishra, Kamalesh Kumar Patel, and Daya Krishan Mangal
Source: Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition, Volume 41, Issue 1; DOI: 10.1186/s41043-021-00273-8
Topic(s): Child health
Country: Asia
Published: JAN 2022
Abstract: Background: Despite significant economic growth and development, undernutrition among children remains a major public health challenge for low- and middle-income countries in the twenty-first century. In Millennium Development Goals, India committed halving the prevalence of underweight children by 2015. This study aimed to explain the geographical variation in child malnutrition level and understand the socio-biomedical predictors of child nutrition in India. Methods: We used the data from India's National Family Health Survey 2015-2016. The survey provided estimates of stunting, wasting, and underweight at the national, state, and district level to measure nutritional status of under-five children. Level of stunting, wasting and underweight at the district level are considered as outcome variables. We have used variance inflation factor to check the multicollinearity between potential predictors of nutrition. In this study, we performed spatial analysis using ArcGIS and multiple linear regression analysis using Stata version 15. Results: Five states (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Meghalaya) had very high prevalence of stunting (40% and above). High prevalence of wasting was documented in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Karnataka (23 to 29%). Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh had the highest proportion of underweight children in the country. We found that electricity and clean fuel use in the household, use of iodized salt, and level of exclusive breastfeeding had significantly negative influence on the stunting level in the districts. The use of iodized salt has similar effect on the wasting status of under-five children in the districts (b: - 0.27, p < 0.10). Further, underweight level had a negative association with clean fuel use for cooking (b: - 0.17, p < 0.01), use of iodized salt (b: - 0.36, p < 0.10), breastfeeding within one hour (b: - 0.18, p < 0.10), semisolid/solid food within 6-8 months (b: - 0.11, p < 0.05) and Gross Domestic Product of the districts (b: - 0.53, p < 0.10). Conclusion: In the study, a variety of factors including electricity and clean fuel use in the household, use of iodized salt, level of exclusive breastfeeding, breastfeeding within one hour, semisolid/solid food within 6-8 months and Gross Domestic Product of the districts have a significant association with nutritional status of children.