Seeing an Unseen: Nutritional Status and Its Determinants of Under Five-Year-Old Children in Karachi, Pakistan
Keywords:Nutritional status, Under-five children, Pakistan
Background: Optimal nutrition is an important determinant of child health, growth and development especially in the first five years of life. Under-nutrition continues to be a hidden but widespread problem for developing countries, which is now one of the main public health concerns. The main objective of the study was to determine the nutritional status and its determinants.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in May 2016 among 383 mother/child dyad in Karachi, Pakistan. Weight and height were recorded from under five-year-old children along with their mothers’ weight and height. Questionnaire was administrated to mothers. Data was analyzed by using univariate, bivariate (chi-square or fisher exact test) and multivariate analysis (logistic regression).
Results: Almost 4% of children were undernourished; in which 5% were underweight; 3.5% were wasted; and 12.8% were stunted children. Children, who born with the weight of < 2500 gms, [OR 7.64 (CI .932-62.64)] were 7.6 times more likely to be underweight. Children, who had runny nose [OR3.35 (CI 1.31-8.54)] and cough [OR 3.34 (CI 1.26-8.88)] in the past 2 weeks, were 3.35 and 3.34 times more expected to be underweight. Those children, who were > 3rd born, were 4.8 times more predictable to get wasted [OR 4.82 (CI 1.12-20.74)]. Insufficient number and smaller amount of meals increased the chance of wasting to 2.85 times [OR 2.85(CI 1.93-4.20)].
Conclusion: The prevalence of undernourished children in Karachi was low. Some of maternal and child related factors such as low birth weight, history of disease, less birth interval, high birth order and low food security attributed to under nutrition.