Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition, Aging and Chronic Disease, Obesity
Objectives : Myanmar has recently conducted the first ever comprehensive nation-wide Micronutrient and Food Consumption Survey to provide the update and reliable data required for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of nutrition interventions. This abstract presents about data on anthropometric indicators and household food security.
Methods : The study was a nation-wide cross-sectional survey conducted from Nov 2017 to May 2018 in all 15 states/regions (SR) of Myanmar. Thirty clusters per SR (total 450 clusters) were selected by probability proportionate to size method. Simple random sampling was applied for selection of 60 households in each cluster, total 27,339 households were studied. Measurements of weight and height in 6-59 month children (n=8,959), 5-9 year children (n=9,000), 10-14 year (adolescent) girls (n=919), reproductive age women (15-49 years) (n=9,027) and 15-49 year men (n=9,022) and household food security status were assessed.
Results : One third (33.2%) of households were suffering from food insecurity. Among children 6-59 months, 26.7% were stunted, 6.7% were wasted, 19.1% were underweight and 0.8% had overweight. In 5-9 year children, 22.1% were stunted, 14.6% had thinness and 3.3% had overweight; in adolescent girls, 24.2% were stunted, 18.8% had thinness and 5.5% had overweight. Higher rate of stunting rate was found in children and adolescent girls from food insecure households than those from food secure ones. Underweight was found in 14.3% and 19.7%; overweight in 22.9% and 11.4%; and obesity in 7.3% and 2% of women and men respectively.
Conclusions : Myanmar is facing both acute ( >5% wasting) and chronic undernutrition ( >20% stunting) as public health problems among preschool children. High burden of chronic undernutrition among these children may pose increased risk of overweight among adolescents and adult population. Although Myanmar is known as food secure at union level being an agricultural country, 1 in 3 households in the country is still food insecure and facing undernutrition from childhood to adolescent and adult. Coordinated efforts should be made to improve nutritional status of population such as improving agriculture and livestock sectors, promotion of essential health services including quality antenatal care, promotion of optimal infant and young child feeding and healthy dietary habits.
Funding Sources :
Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports, WHO, UNICEF and World Bank group funded this nationwide survey.
Lwin Mar Hlaing
National Nutrition Centre (Nutrition Program and Research Centre)
Min Kyaw Htet
Professor of Global Public Health Nutrition
The University of Sydney
Deputy Director General
Department of Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar.