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Cross-sectional study of child malnutrition and associated risk factors among children aged under five in West Bengal, India

Sanjit Sarkar

Abstract

Using a cross-sectional study of 485 sample households in 2013, the present paper examines the prevalence and risk factors of child malnutrition among children under the age of five in West Bengal, India. As a part of this investigation, children’s underweight status, wasting, and stunting were examined in order to determine child nutritional status using the WHO growth standard. We performed bivariate analyses in order to elucidate differentials in nutritional indices and fitted multinomial logistic regression models to examine the net effect of different socio-economic factors on the likelihood of child malnutri-tion. Analysis results revealed stunting (51%) as the most common form of malnutrition among children aged under five, followed by underweight status (41%), and wasting (22%).Gender discrimination among children increases with age, whereby girls are more deprived (as measured by nutritional indic-es) compared to boys later in childhood relative to younger ages. Results from multinomial analyses re-veal age, religion, caste, and birth-order of the child as significant predictors of child’s nutritional status.

Keywords

underweight; wasting; stunting; WHO Growth Standard; gender discrimination

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/IJPS.2016.01.003
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