Nutritional status and its predictors for children under 2 years of age in selected slums of Dhaka city

Benajir Shams1, AAM Kurshed2, AZM Mosiul Azam3, MAH Bhuyan4

Background: Malnutrition in children is one of the most important health problem
in Bangladesh. The problem is severe in urban slums. Nutritional status of children
under 2 years of age are affected by their mother’s nutritional status.
Objective: To determine the nutritional status and predictors of it among the
children under 2 years of age considering the 3 anthropometric indices.
Methodology: Nutritional status of children and its determinants are identified
applying 3 anthropometric indices, such as height-for-age, weight-for-age, and weightfor-
height (z-score). These anthropometric indices are used separately for identifying
the predictors of stunting (chronic malnutrition), wasting (acute malnutrition), and
underweight (chronic or acute, or both). However, a child is recognized as
undernourished if she/he is stunted, wasted, or underweight. In this study child’s
nutritional status was considered as dependent variable. Maternal nutritional status
(BMI), maternal reproductive history as well as child’s and maternal anemia were
considered as key independent variables. Regression analysis was adopted to find
out the predictors of nutritional status of children.Results: This study revealed that 33.3 percent male and 17.6 percent female children
were moderately stunted.45.5 percent male and 29.4percent female children were
severely wasted and 19.6 percent male and 22.7 percent female children were
moderately under weight. Mother’s anemia, BMI, abortion rate and child’s anemia
are identified as the predictors of stunting. However, mother’s abortion rate and
child’s anemia are the predictors of wasting and mother’s abortion rate, anemia are
found to be the predictors of under weight.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that maternal nutritional status and abortion
play significant role on nutritional status of their children. Maternal anemia also
have a greater influence on nutritional status of children.
Key words: Nutritional status of children, stunting, wasting, under weight, anemia
& BMI of mothers.

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