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To investigate the socio-economic differentials underlying minimum dietary diversity (MDD) among children aged 6–23 months in three economically diverse South-East Asian countries.
The outcome variable MDD was defined as the proportion of children aged 6–23 months who received foods from four of the seven recommended food groups within the 24 h prior to interview. The association between socio-economic factors and MDD, adjusting for relevant characteristics, was examined using logistic regression.
We used cross-sectional population data from recent Demographic and Health Surveys from Cambodia (2014), Myanmar (2015–16) and Indonesia (2012).
Total of 8364 children aged 6–23 months.
Approximately half of all children met the MDD, varying from 47·7 % in Cambodia (n 1023) to 58·2 % in Indonesia (n 2907) and 24·6 % in Myanmar (n 301). The likelihood (adjusted OR; 95 % CI) of meeting MDD increased for children in the richest households (Cambodia: 2·4; 1·7, 3·4; Myanmar: 1·8; 1·1, 3·0; Indonesia: 2·0; 1·6, 2·5) and those residing in urban areas (Cambodia: 1·4; 1·1, 1·9; Myanmar: 1·7; 1·2, 2·4; Indonesia: 1·7; 1·5, 1·9). MDD deprivation was most severe among children from the poorest households in rural areas. The association between mother’s labour force participation and MDD was positive in all three countries but reached significance only in Indonesia (1·3; 1·1, 1·5).
MDD deprivation among young children was significantly high in socio-economically disadvantaged families in all three study settings. MDD requirements are not being met for approximately half of young children in these three South-East Asian countries.
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