Paradoxical malnutrition in mother-child pairs: Untangling the phenomenon of over- and under-nutrition in underdeveloped economies

Megan Jehn, Alexandra Slade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As economic development and urbanization proceed globally, the coexistence of under- and over-nutrition within the same household, sometimes termed 'paradoxical' or 'dual burden' malnutrition is increasingly being reported. We used Demographic and Health Survey data sets from 18 lower and middle income countries to explore paradoxical forms of malnutrition (maternal overweight with child underweight or stunting) in mother-child pairs. Multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of discordant pairs after adjusting for a number of important covariates. Several factors were significantly associated with an increased relative odds of discordant mother-child pairs, including working in subsistence agriculture, low levels of maternal education, more siblings in the household, and relative household poverty. However, many of these factors also predicted other combinations of poor nutritional status in mother-child pairs. We conclude that it is difficult to identify any specific factors that elevate risk above and beyond those that predict risk of maternal over-nutrition or child under-nutrition. Based on these analyses, it appears that paradoxical weight status between mothers and children can be best understood as a consequence of rapid secular increases in maternal weight, rather than a distinct nutritional condition with a discrete etiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalEconomics and Human Biology
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Fingerprint

Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
Child Nutrition Disorders
nutrition
Mothers
economy
Malnutrition
Growth Disorders
coexistence
etiology
Weights and Measures
Urbanization
Economic Development
urbanization
Thinness
Poverty
Agriculture
Nutritional Status
logistics
agriculture
poverty

Keywords

  • Children
  • Health-general (I10)
  • Household economics
  • Malnutrition
  • Maternal
  • Obesity
  • Paradoxical malnutrition
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Paradoxical malnutrition in mother-child pairs : Untangling the phenomenon of over- and under-nutrition in underdeveloped economies. / Jehn, Megan; Slade, Alexandra.

In: Economics and Human Biology, Vol. 7, No. 1, 03.2009, p. 28-35.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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