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The Risk Factors of Underweight Among Under-Five Children in Rural Area of Central Java, Indonesia

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Background: Underweight especially on children is one of the major public health problems in the developing countries. Underweight among underfive children is less common in urban areas compared to the countryside. The study was conducted to examine the risk factors of underweight on under-five children in a rural area of Central Java, Indonesia. Method: The study was conducted at Mranggen Primary Healthcare Centre, Demak regency, Central Java, Indonesia in a case-control design. The observation was done on 71 subjects in the case group and 71 subjects in the control group. The cases were underweight children (WAZ scores < −2), while the controls were under-five children with WAZ scores ≥ −2. Child and family characteristics, socio-economic condition and feeding habits data were collected by interviews using structured questionnaires. Anthropometric assessment was conducted by weighing the children. Z scores for anthropometric indicators were calculated based on WHO-Anthro/Plus software. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the risk factors for underweight and a p-value of <0.05 was considered significant. Results: The study found that there was no significant difference in age and sex distribution between the cases and the controls. Education and occupational of father and mother, child feeding habits (exclusive breastfeeding, duration of breastfeeding, early feeding) and the incidence of diarrhea were not the risk factor of underweight. Low family income was a risk factor for underweight among under-five children. Conclusion: Low family economic was an important underlying cause of underweight among under-five children in the rural area.
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Keywords: Early Feeding; Family Income; Feeding Habits; Undernutrition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Public Health, Diponegoro University, Semarang, 50239, Indonesia

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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