Child nutrition in rural Nicaragua Population-based studies in a transitional society
Sammanfattning: Emerging favourable as well as unfavourable nutrition patterns are observed in societies undergoing rapid social and economic change. The aim of this thesis is to analyse the associations between household and maternal resources and infant and young child feeding habits and nutritional status in rural Nicaragua, a low-income transitional society.All households (n=1,500) in Los Cuatro Santos with at least one child (0-3 y) were visited to collect information on feeding of the youngest child. Children´s anthropometry was also measured using standardised World Health Organisation (WHO) techniques. Validated instruments were used to assess household and maternal resources. All instruments had been adapted to the local context and piloted in a nearby community. The education of the mother showed more independent variation in the studied outcomes. The odds for exclusive breastfeeding were highest in infants aged 0 to 5 months of mothers with the lowest education. Further, children aged 6 to 35 months with lowest educated mothers were less likely to consume highly processed snacks (HP snacks) and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). They were also less likely to be exposed to a double burden of suboptimal feeding (concurrent unmet WHO recommended feeding practices and consumption of HP snacks or SSBs). However, children aged 6 to 35 months were more prone to infrequently meet dietary diversity and to more shortness. Children in the same age group with lower educated mothers were also shorter in households with the lowest housing quality.Higher level of maternal education contributed both favourably and unfavourably to child feeding and nutrition. This was reflected in more and less frequent practice of the WHO feeding indicators, but also in more frequent children´s consumption of HP snacks and SSBs. Higher maternal education was associated with taller children, even in households with the lowest housing quality.
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