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Inequality of childhood undernutrition in Bangladesh: A decomposition approach

journal contribution
posted on 01.03.2020, 00:00 authored by Abdur Razzaque Sarker, Marufa SultanaMarufa Sultana, Nurnabi Sheikh, Raisul Akram, Nausad Ali, Rashidul Alam Mahumud, Khorshed Alam, Alec Morton
Background
Undernutrition is one of the major public health concerns in Bangladesh. This study examined the trends and patterns of childhood undernutrition, inequality, and its socioeconomic contributors in Bangladesh.

Methods
Data were extracted from the last four rounds of the Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey (BDHS). A regression‐based decomposition method was applied to assess the socioeconomic contributors of inequality.

Results
Although the prevalence of childhood undernutrition has declined during the period 2004 to 2014, the rate of undernutrition is higher among the children of mothers who had lower education, live in rural areas, and are from the poorest wealth quintile. Socioeconomic status accounted for almost half of the total inequality in the prevalence of both stunting and underweight among children, whereas maternal education was ranked second among the contributors.

Conclusions
Findings of the study indicate that undernutrition inequalities in terms of socioeconomic aspects appear to have widened over time. Improving economic activity and maternal education will improve the nutritional status of children and as a consequence reduce inequality. Therefore, investments in education, creation of working opportunities, and empowerment of vulnerable and disadvantaged people along with nutrition‐specific interventions will be important measures to eliminate this inequality at the population level.

History

Journal

International Journal of Health Planning and Management

Volume

35

Issue

2

Pagination

441 - 468

Publisher

John Wiley & Sons

Location

Oxford, Eng.

ISSN

0749-6753

eISSN

1099-1751

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019, John Wiley & Sons