Geographical and socioeconomic inequalities in women and children’s nutritional status in Pakistan in 2011: an analysis of data from a nationally representative survey

Di Cesare, Mariachiara ORCID logoORCID:, Bhatti, Zaid, Soofi, Sajid B., Fortunato, Lea, Ezzati, Majid and Bhutta, Zulfiqar A. (2015) Geographical and socioeconomic inequalities in women and children’s nutritional status in Pakistan in 2011: an analysis of data from a nationally representative survey. Lancet Global Health, 3 (4) . e229-e239. ISSN 2214-109X [Article] (doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(15)70001-X)

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Background Pakistan has one of the highest levels of child and maternal undernutrition worldwide, but little information about geographical and socioeconomic inequalities is available. We aimed to analyse anthropometric indicators for childhood and maternal nutrition at a district level in Pakistan and assess the association of nutritional status with food security and maternal and household socioeconomic factors.
Methods We used data from the 2011 Pakistan National Nutrition Survey, which included anthropometric measurements for 33 638 children younger than 5 years and 24 826 women of childbearing age. We estimated the prevalences of stunting, wasting, and underweight among children and of underweight, overweight, and obesity in women for all 143 districts of Pakistan using a Bayesian spatial technique. We used a mixed-eff ect linear model to analyse the association of nutritional status with individual and household sociodemographic factors and food security.
Findings Stunting prevalence in Pakistan’s districts ranged between 22% (95% credible interval 19–26) and 76% (69–83); the lowest fi gures for wasting and underweight were both less than 2·5% and the highest were 42% (34–50) for wasting and 54% (49–59) for underweight. In 106 districts, more women were overweight than were underweight; in 49 of these districts more women were obese than were underweight. Children were better nourished if their mothers were taller or had higher weight, if they lived in wealthier households, and if their mothers had 10 or more years of education.
Severe food insecurity was associated with worse nutritional outcomes for both children and women.
Interpretation We noted large social and geographical inequalities in child and maternal nutrition in Pakistan, masked by national and provincial averages. Pakistan is also beginning to face the concurrent challenge of high burden of childhood undernutrition and overweight and obesity among women of reproductive age. Planning, implementation, and evaluation of programmes for food and nutrition should be based on district-level needs and outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 17604
Notes on copyright: © Di Cesare et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY-NC-ND
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Depositing User: Mariachiara Di Cesare
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2015 11:53
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 22:54

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