Socio-economic determinants to the nutritional status of childrens.

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Chapter II: Review of Related Literature
Malnutrition in children is very critical and alarming because undernourished children are more likely to die from common childhood ailments, and for those who survive, have recurring sicknesses and growth faltering. 1 It is a seemingly serious public health problem that can be lead to morbidity and mortality. That’s why most of the studies are concerned about the child nutrition and health that focuses on the causal factor such as the socioeconomic factors to determine the possible reason behind it and to alleviate it existence.

Malnutrition in early childhood is associated with significant functional impairment in adult life, reduced work capacity, and decreasing economic productivity. 2 Researches show that the root causes of many health problems especially malnutrition is poverty. It found out that those who lived in developing countries with low family income have the most malnourished children. Asia, Africa, and Latin America have a higher prevalence of malnutrition according to the studies. 3 The children from households with a low or very low socioeconomic status had 2.5 times the risk of being underweight relative to children who came from households with middle to upper socioeconomic status. 4 As evidenced by the studies, it is clear that childhood malnutrition is associated with a number of socioeconomic and environmental characteristics such as poverty, parents' education/occupation, and access to health care services. 3,5

In the study done by Nabeela Fazal Babar, Rizwana Muzaffar, Muhammad Athar Khan, Seema Imdad, that focused on the socioeconomic inequalities of parents of the students ages 5-11 from public and private schools. The findings concluded that the important factors responsible for the poor health status of children from low socioeconomic class are poverty, low literacy rate, large families, food insecurity, food safety, mother’s education. To alleviate that, economic, political and social changes as well as changes for personal advancement mainly through educational opportunities to improve the nutritional status of the children is needed. Based on the results, the nutritional status of children from lower socioeconomic class was poor as compared to upper class. The findings also showed that there are no significant relation between the family size and nutritional status. 6

The Philippines is still suffer from continued existence and growing of health problems particularly malnutrition in children. 7 It is one of the country in Asia wherein prevalence of malnutrition is higher. According to Updating National Nutrition Survey (NNS) 2011, undernutrition (based on weight-for-age & height-for-age) continued to be a public health problem among Filipino children and the double burden of undernutrition & overnutrition is still persistent across age & physiological groups. 8 Studies have also shown that malnutrition has negative impact on children’s intellectual progress. Omitting breakfast affect the children’s academic performance as evidenced by recent reviews. 9 It only proved that dietary intake of children is one of the underlying cause of malnutrition. Based on Social Weather Survey Report on Hunger Incidence, millions of Filipinos suffer from hunger. 10 Hunger is usually due to lack of food supply, inability to purchase food, and poor family income.

Based on Jane Kabubo-Mariara’s study about the evolution and determinants of child nutritional status in Kenya using demographic health survey data, focused on the impact of child, household and community characteristics on both chronic and acute malnutrition. It used both the descriptive statistics and econometric technique to explain the determinants of child’s nutritional status. Results suggest that child characteristics are significant determinants of children’s nutritional status which is boys are more likely to be malnourished than girls. In addition, share of women in a household as a mother...
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