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To describe trends of childhood stunting among under-5s in Uganda and to assess the impact of maternal education, wealth and residence on stunting.
Serial and pooled cross-sectional analyses of data from Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys (UDHS) of 1995, 2001, 2006 and 2011. Prevalence of stunting and mean height-for-age Z-score were computed by maternal education, wealth index, region and other sociodemographic characteristics. Multivariable logistic and linear regression models were fitted to survey-specific and pooled data to estimate independent associations between covariates and stunting or Z-score. Sampling weights were applied in all analyses.
Children aged <5 years.
Weighted sample size was 14 747 children. Stunting prevalence decreased from 44·8% in 1995 to 33·2% in 2011. UDHS reported stunting as 38% in 1995, underestimating the decline because of transitioning from National Center for Health Statistics/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards to WHO standards. Nevertheless, one in three Ugandan children was still stunted by 2011. South Western, Mid Western, Kampala and East Central regions had highest odds of stunting. Being born in a poor or middle-income household, of a teen mother, without secondary education were associated with stunting. Other persistent stunting predictors included small birth size, male gender and age 2–3 years.
Sustained decrease in stunting suggests that child nutrition interventions have been successful; however, current prevalence does not meet Millennium Development Goals. Stunting remains a public health concern and must be addressed. Customizing established measures such as female education and wealth creation while targeting the most vulnerable groups may further reduce childhood stunting.
Access to nutritious foods is key to achieving health promotion goals. While there is evidence that nutritious food access is complex, measures assessing multiple domains of access, including spatial-temporal, economic, social, service delivery and personal, are lacking. The current study evaluates psychometric properties of scales designed to measure perceptions of multiple domains of nutritious food access among low-income populations.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2015. Eighty-one items were selected or developed to represent five domains of nutritious food access for food shopping overall and specific to shopping at farmers’ markets. Evaluation of the items included exploratory factor analysis within each domain and internal consistency reliability for each of the sub-scales.
Data were collected in seventeen urban neighbourhoods in Greater Cleveland, Ohio, USA that have high levels of poverty. All participants had access to at least one farmers’ market within 1·6 km (1 mile) of their home to standardize spatial access to nutritious foods.
Adults (n 304) receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
Each domain included multiple sub-domains: spatial-temporal (four), service delivery (two), economic (two), social (three) and personal (three), for a total of fourteen subdomains. The internal consistency reliability for one of the sub-domains was outstanding (>0·90), seven were excellent (0·80–0·89), five were very good (0·70–0·79) and one scale had poor reliability (0·58).
Multiple sub-domains of nutritious food access can be assessed using short measures that have been tested for internal consistency. These measures are suitable for assessing the complex phenomena of nutritious food access among low-income populations.
To examine associations between geographic measures of retail food outlets and perceived availability of healthy foods.
A predominantly rural, eight-county region of South Carolina, USA.
Data from 705 household shoppers were analysed using ordinary least-squares regression to examine relationships between geographic measures (presence and distance) of food outlets obtained via a geographic information system and perceived availability of healthy foods (fresh fruits and vegetables and low-fat foods).
The presence of a supermarket within an 8·05 km (5-mile) buffer area was significantly associated with perceived availability of healthy foods (β=1·09, P=0·025) when controlling for all other food outlet types. However, no other derived geographic presence measures were significant predictors of perceived availability of healthy foods. Distances to the nearest supermarket (β=−0·16, P=0·003), dollar and variety store (β=−0·15, P=0·005) and fast-food restaurant (β=0·11, P=0·015) were all significantly associated with perceptions of healthy food availability.
Our results suggest that distance to food outlets is a significant predictor of healthy food perceptions, although presence is sensitive to boundary size. Our study contributes to the understanding and improvement of techniques that characterize individuals’ food options in their community.
Fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake is influenced by behavioural and environmental factors, but these have rarely been assessed simultaneously. We aimed to quantify the relative influence of supermarket availability, perceptions of the food environment and shopping behaviour on F&V intake.
A cross-sectional study.
Eight counties in South Carolina, USA, with verified locations of all supermarkets.
A telephone survey of 831 household food shoppers ascertained F&V intake with a seventeen-item screener, primary food store location, shopping frequency and perceptions of healthy food availability, and supermarket availability was calculated with a geographic information system. Path analysis was conducted. We report standardized beta coefficients on paths significant at the 0·05 level.
Frequency of grocery shopping at primary food store (β = 0·11) was the only factor exerting an independent, statistically significant direct effect on F&V intake. Supermarket availability was significantly associated with distance to utilized food store (β = −0·24) and shopping frequency (β = 0·10). Increased supermarket availability was significantly and positively related to perceived healthy food availability in the neighbourhood (β = 0·18) and ease of shopping access (β = 0·09). Collectively considering all model paths linked to perceived availability of healthy foods, this measure was the only other factor to have a significant total effect on F&V intake.
While the majority of the literature to date has suggested an independent and important role of supermarket availability for F&V intake, our study found only indirect effects of supermarket availability and suggests that food shopping frequency and perceptions of healthy food availability are two integral components of a network of influences on F&V intake.
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