(P14-072-20) Disparities in the Nutritional Status of Children (0-23 Months) in Kenya
Objectives: To determine the social economic and rural /urban disparities in the nutritional status of children aged 0-23 months in Kenya.
Methods: This study utilized data from the most current Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS), a nationally representative cross-sectional study conducted in 2014. Data from children 0-23 months with complete information on weight, height, age and sex were used for analysis. Height for Age Z scores (HAZ), Weight for Age Z scores (WAZ), Weight for Height Z scores (WHZ), and BMI for Age Z scores (BAZ) were computed using WHO Anthroplus program to determine the nutritional status of the children. Chi square statistics were used to determine the relationship between wealth index, education status of mother, rural/urban residence, gender, and the nutritional status of the children. Significance was set at p < 0.05.
Results: Among all participating children aged 0-23 months (n=7578), 22.7% were stunted (HAZ < -2), 10.7% were underweight (WAZ < -2), 6.2% were wasted (WHZ < -2), and 6.1% were either overweight or obese (BAZ > 2). Wasting, stunting, and underweight were significantly higher in children from rural areas, poorer wealth index and from mothers with no education. In contrast, children from urban areas, from richest wealth index category and from mothers with secondary or higher education were significantly more likely to be either overweight or obese. There were no gender differences in all the indicators of malnutrition. Stunting, wasting and underweight were also significantly higher in older children (6-23 months) as compared to the younger children (0-5 months).
Conclusions: Disparities exist in childhood malnutrition in Kenya with children from low social economic status and those living in rural areas experiencing higher rates of under-nutrition whereas those living in urban areas and those from higher social economic status experiencing higher rates of overweight and obesity. Current and new policies need to address these disparities to ensure that childhood malnutrition continues to improve in all sectors of the society.
Funding Sources: No funding source
Assistant professor Ball State University Muncie, Indiana