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Nutritional status of children and the family

Dionisia Maffioli, Università degli Studi di Bari

The household wealth being equal, the nutritional status of children can be considered as a marker of long-term resource allocation decisions made by families. The position of the children and their mother in the family (relationship with the householder) and the level of the mothers’ autonomy of action influences the proportion of family resources destined to children. The relationship among anthropometric indicators of nutritional status and variables on households and the decisional power of women are analysed in Ethiopia, Ghana and Namibia, using DHS data. Classification trees and logistic regression models were constructed using the prevalence of CED (chronic energy deficiency) deriving from the measures of BMI as class variable. Women’s autonomy and, separately, family structure indicators are the explanatory variables, along with socio-demographic aspects. Provisional results show that the effects of the household structure and the mother’s decisional capacity are significant and independent from those of education and income.

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Presented in Session 35: Family and Child Health