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Sociodemographic Determinants of child nutrition in Colombia

Abstract

Objective: To estimate the Sociodemographic determinants of child nutrition in Colombia. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was performed using micro-data from the National Demographic and Health Survey 2010, grouped by region. Four multiple regression models were estimated to explore the relationship between the dependent variables (Z score of height for age (HFA) and Weight for Age (WFA)) and socioeconomic factors in order to establish the factors with higher impact. Ordinary least squares regression was used to model these relationships. Results: The Caribbean region and Bogotá were the regions with larger problems on child malnutrition compared to other regions. In lowest-income quintile, the average of the HFA in the Caribbean region was -1.18 (QIR -0.42 to -1.91) while in the higher-income quintile amounted to -0.29 (QIR -1.57 to -0.12). In Bogotá this value corresponded to -2.22 (QIR -2.06 to -2.37) in the first-income quintile and to -0.83 (QIR -1.38 to -0.26) in the fifth quintile. Income, BMI and maternal education have a significant and positive impact on children’s nutrition while the birth order and the age of the child showed negative repercussions. Conclusions: Within Regions, differences in the size of the child are significant according to the socioeconomic level of the household. An increased level of incomes and years of schooling, and the prevention of teenage pregnancy could play a key role in the decrease of malnutrition.

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