Sayem Ahmed, Md. Mehedi Hasan, Wahid Ahmed, Md. Atiqul Hoque Chowdhury
Journal of Nutrition and Health. 2013, 1(2), 18-22DOI:
Abstract: Poor nutritional status of children is a major public health problem throughout the developing world and is the underlying cause for 35% of child deaths and 11% of the total global disease burden. The global burden of childhood mortality, morbidity, and under nutrition is now increasingly concentrated in the most deprived and underserved populations within countries. The aim of this study was to investigate the socioeconomic differences of malnutrition of the under-five children and women at reproductive age in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey data 2011 were used for this study. Three of the most commonly used anthropometric indicators (weight-for-height, height-for-age, and weight-for-age) have been constructed for under five children. Asset quintiles have been constructed using principal component analysis technique. The concentration index (CI) has been estimated to show the direction of nutritional status across asset quintiles. Using concentration index it is found that child and mother malnutrition were more common in poor quintiles compared to rich quintiles. Stunting (CI = −30.127) and underweight (CI = −0.163) among child and thin/malnutrition condition (CI = −0.241) among women were highly pro-poor. On the other hand overweight condition (CI = −0.376) among women was highly pro-rich. Beside this urban and rural differential showed that rural area was better-off than urban area in terms of inequity in nutritional indicators of children and women. Even stunting and wasting is more prevalent among poorest children in urban area than children of same economic group in rural area. The community level nutritional intervention strategies aiming at reducing socioeconomic inequality should be taken for addressing large inequity in nutritional status of children and women in Bangladesh.