Document Type: Original Articles

Authors

1 Department of Nutrition, School of Health & Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

2 B.Sc. of Nutrition, Student Research Committee, College of Health & Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences

3 Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Epidemiology Department, College of Health & Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences

Abstract

Background: Malnutrition is one of the most common hazards which compromise children’s health. Previous studies have reported high rates of malnutrition in Kohkilouyeh and Boyer Ahmad. Objective: This study was conducted to evaluate the frequency of child malnutrition in Yasuj and to explore the association between family characteristics and malnutrition. Methods: Data were collected from healthcare files of 285 infants aged 18 months and younger in Yasuj health care centers. Data included demographic information and anthropometric measurements at birth and at the last referral to health centers. Results: Rates of underweight, stunting, wasting, and low head circumference at birth were 17.9%, 13.4%, 27.8%, and 19%, and at the last referral they were 22.5%, 11.3%, 29%, and 15.5%, respectively. The frequency of underweight and wasting had significantly increased and that of stunting and low head circumference significantly decreased during the period between birth and the last referral. Birth wasting was significantly more common in younger mothers, families with fewer children, and shorter birth interval. Birth underweight and small head circumference was significantly associated with shorter birth interval. Child stunting was related to father’s education level and child wasting was associated with mother’s education. Parents’ education did not have any association with birth malnutrition. Conclusion: Wasting appeared to be the major form of malnutrition among infants in Yasuj. It was very high at birth, and continued to elevate after birth. Elevating educational level of parents (over Diploma), educating parents to keep sufficient interval between pregnancies, and paying more attention to young mothers and those who are delivering their first baby are among strategies to ameliorate child wasting.

Keywords

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