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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism




Child malnutrition persists in low-resource countries such as Pakistan, indicating an urgent need for interventions and policies aimed to address this critical population health issue. The World Health Organization Global Target 2025 includes the reduction of malnourishment in the form of stunting, wasting, and low weight. This study aims to examine the prevalence of factors associated with three measures of child malnutrition, i.e., stunting, wasting, and low weight in Pakistan. This study uses a secondary data analysis design based on data from Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (2017-18) that used a two-stage cluster sampling approach. National level data covering urban and rural areas were used for this study consisting of 4,226 children less than 5 years of age. Univariate and multivariable analyses using logistic regression models were conducted. Over 23% of the children were underweight, 8.0% suffered wasting, and 37.7% were stunted. Children with small size at birth (60 cm) were also less likely to be stunted (AOR, 0.288) and underweight (AOR, 0.538). Children who consumed fresh milk were less likely to be classified as wasted (AOR, 0.524) than those children who did not consume fresh milk. The children in high- and middle-economic status families were less likely to be stunted, underweight, or wasted. Children of mothers who had secondary and higher education were less likely to be stunted (AOR, 0.584) and were less likely to be underweight (AOR, 0.668) than illiterate mothers’ children. Children of working mothers were less likely to be wasted compared to children of nonworking mothers (AOR, 0.287). Maternal BMI is also inversely associated with being underweight because overweight and obese mothers were less likely to have underweight children (AOR, 0.585). Our findings reflect a need to design targeted public health policies and community-based education that emphasize the mother’s education on nutrition health and provide socioeconomic resources that enable mothers to provide dietary needs that prevent malnutrition.


Georgia Southern University faculty member, Gulzar H. Shah and Tilicia L. Mayo-Gamble co-authored Determinants of Child Stunting, Wasting, and Underweight: Evidence from 2017 to 2018 Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey.


Copyright © 2023 Maryam Siddiqa et al. Tis is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.