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To examine the relationship between homestead food production and night blindness among pre-school children in rural Bangladesh in the presence of a national vitamin A supplementation programme.
A cross-sectional study.
A population-based sample of six rural divisions of Bangladesh assessed in the Bangladesh Nutrition Surveillance Project 2001–2005.
A total of 158 898 children aged 12–59 months.
The prevalence rates of night blindness in children among those who did and did not receive vitamin A capsules in the last 6 months were 0·07 % and 0·13 %, respectively. Given the known effect of vitamin A supplementation on night blindness, the analysis was stratified by children's receipt of vitamin A capsules in the last 6 months. Among children who did not receive vitamin A capsules in the last 6 months, the lack of a home garden was associated with increased odds of night blindness (OR = 3·16, 95 % CI 1·76, 5·68; P = 0·0001). Among children who received vitamin A capsules in the last 6 months, the lack of a home garden was not associated with night blindness (OR = 1·28, 95 % CI 0·71, 2·31; P = 0·4).
Homestead food production confers a protective effect against night blindness among pre-school children who missed vitamin A supplementation in rural Bangladesh.
To characterize the relationship between serum carotenoids, retinol and anaemia among pre-school children.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in two groups: anaemic and non-anaemic. Serum levels of retinol, α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin were measured in the study subjects.
Six rural communes of Dinh Hoa, a rural and mountainous district in Thai Nguyen Province, in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam.
A total of 682 pre-school children, aged 12–72 months, were recruited.
Geometric mean serum concentrations of carotenoids (μmol/l) were 0·056 for α-carotene, 0·161 for β-carotene, 0·145 for β-cryptoxanthin, 0·078 for lycopene, 0·388 for lutein and 0·075 for zeaxanthin. The mean levels of Hb and serum retinol were 108·8 g/l and 1·02 μmol/l, respectively. The prevalence of anaemia and vitamin A deficiency was 53·7 % and 7·8 %, respectively. After adjusting for sex and stunting, serum retinol concentrations (μmol/l; OR = 2·06, 95 % CI 1·10, 3·86, P = 0·024) and total provitamin A carotenoids (μmol/l; OR = 1·52, 95 % CI 1·01, 2·28, P = 0·046) were independently associated with anaemia, but non-provitamin A carotenoids (μmol/l; OR = 0·93, 95 % CI 0·63, 1·37, P = 0·710) were not associated with anaemia.
Among pre-school children in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam, the prevalences of vitamin A deficiency and anaemia are high, and serum retinol and provitamin A carotenoids are independently associated with anaemia. Further studies are needed to determine if increased consumption of provitamin A carotenoids will reduce anaemia among pre-school children.
Paternal smoking is highly prevalent in Asia, and tobacco may account for a large proportion of household expenditures among poor families. We sought to characterise the relationship between paternal smoking, child malnutrition and food expenditures.
Data on smoking, household expenditures and child malnutrition were examined in a stratified multistage cluster sample of households in the Indonesia nutrition surveillance system. Main outcome measures were child wasting (weight-for-height Z-score < − 2), underweight (weight-for-age Z-score < − 2) and stunting (height-for-age Z-score < − 2), and severe wasting, underweight and stunting (defined by respective Z-scores < − 3).
In total, 175 583 households from urban slum areas in Indonesia.
Children 0–59 months of age.
The prevalence of paternal smoking was 73.8%. After adjusting for child gender and age, maternal age and education, and weekly per capita household expenditures, paternal smoking was associated with child stunting (odds ratio (OR) = 1.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08–1.14, P < 0.0001), severe wasting (OR = 1.17, 95% CI 1.03–1.33, P = 0.018) and severe stunting (OR = 1.09, 95% CI 1.04–1.15, P < 0.001). In households where the father was a smoker, tobacco accounted for 22% of weekly per capita household expenditures, with less money spent on food compared with households in which the father was a non-smoker.
Among poor families in urban slum areas of Indonesia, paternal smoking diverts household money from food to tobacco and exacerbates child malnutrition.