Association of Food Insecurity and Malnutrition among Young Children (6-36 Months)
Keywords:Food Security, Malnutrition, Young Children, Urban Slums.
AbstractObjective of the study was to assess the prevalence of food insecurity and malnutrition among young children (6-36 months) in urban slums of India and its consequences on the nutritional status of the children. Household-based crosssectional study on a sample of 446 mother/child diad was conducted. Structured interview schedules were used to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics, food insecurity and household assets wealth. Height and weight were also measured. The results indicated the prevalence of child food insecurity was 38 per cent. More than 50 per cent were stunted and 36 per cent were underweight. Two-third underweight and 53 per cent stunted children were food insecure. Multivariate associations showed statistically significant inverse association of stunting and underweight with child food security status. Children from very low food secure households were 5.92 times more underweight and 4.14 times more stunted than food secure households. It was concluded that child food insecurity was associated with malnutrition. Strategies for reducing child malnutrition should focus on improving the food security.
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