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The present analysis aimed to observe nutritional impacts among children <5 years of age by mother’s engagement in paid employment.
Between 1996 and 2012, 21 443 children <5 years of age with diarrhoea attended the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka Hospital. They were enrolled in the hospital-based Diarrhoeal Disease Surveillance System and their relevant information was extracted from the electronic database.
The icddr,b, Bangladesh.
The analytic sample was 19 597 children aged <5 years who had a mother aged ≤35 years with or without engagement in paid employment.
Eleven per cent of the mothers (n 2051) were currently engaged in paid employment on behalf of the family. Univariate analysis showed that children with mothers engaged in paid employment had a 1·14 times higher risk of being undernourished, a 1·20 times of higher risk of being stunted, a 1·21 times higher risk of being wasted and a 1·31 times higher risk of being underweight (risk ratios) than were children with mothers not likewise engaged. Multivariate analysis showed that such associations remained significant for stunting (1·08; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·16), wasting (1·15; 95 % CI 1·06, 1·25) and underweight (1·09; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·17) after controlling for covariates.
Mothers’ engagement in income-generating employment was associated with undernutrition in children <5 years of age in urban Bangladesh.
The present study determined trends in malnutrition among under-5 children in urban and rural areas of Bangladesh.
The study was conducted in the urban Dhaka and the rural Matlab hospitals of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, where every fiftieth patient and all patients coming from the Health and Demographic Surveillance System were enrolled.
A total of 28 816 under-5 children were enrolled at Dhaka from 1993 to 2012 and 11 533 at Matlab between 2000 and 2012.
In Dhaka, 46 % of the children were underweight, 39 % were stunted and 28 % were wasted. In Matlab, the corresponding figures were 39 %, 31 % and 26 %, respectively. At Dhaka, 0·5 % of the children were overweight and obese when assessed by weight-for-age Z-score >+2·00, 1·4 % by BMI-for-age Z-score >+2·00 and 1·4 % by weight-for-height Z-score >+2·00; in Matlab the corresponding figures were 0·5 %, 1·4 % and 1·4 %, respectively. In Dhaka, the proportion of underweight, stunting and wasting decreased from 59 % to 28 % (a 53 % reduction), from 54 % to 22 % (59 % reduction) and from 33 % to 21 % (36 % reduction), respectively, between 1993 and 2012. In Matlab, these indicators decreased from 51 % to 27 % (a 47 % reduction), from 36 % to 25 % (31 % reduction) and from 34 % to 14 % (59 % reduction), respectively, from 2000 to 2012. On the other hand, the proportion of overweight (as assessed by BMI-for-age Z-score) increased significantly over the study period in both Dhaka (from 0·6 % to 2·6 %) and Matlab (from 0·8 % to 2·2 %).
The proportion of malnourished under-5 children has decreased gradually in both urban and rural Bangladesh; however, the reduction rates are not in line with meeting Millennium Development Goal 1. Trends for increasing childhood obesity have been noted during the study period as well.
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