Unhealthy Weight Among Children under Age 5 in the Middle Eastand North African Region: Prevalence and Associated Factors Open Access

Jones, Rebecca Evelyn (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/mc87pq484?locale=en


BACKGROUND: The Middle East and North African(MENA) region is experiencing high rates of overweight and obesity among adults, however the prevalence of weight status among children in the region has not been examined in depth.DATA: Demographic and Health Surveys(DHS) are nationally representative cross-sectional surveys which collect information on the health of women and children. We used DHS surveys to estimate the prevalence of weight status among children <5y (n=127,110) in each available MENA country(Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen) over time(1987-2012). We used the most current wave of DHS data from six countries(Azerbaijan, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, and Turkey) from 2001-2012 (n=30,404), to quantify the characteristics associated with children's weight status. We examined the determinants of mother-child household pairs (under-nutrition households, an underweight mother / thin child; over-nutrition households, an overweight or obese mother / overweight child; double burden households, an underweight mother / overweight child, and overweight or obese mother / thin child) using data from Azerbaijan, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, and Turkey(n=30,209).

METHODS: Descriptive analyses were conducted for all variables; prevalence and mean values calculated. Survey-adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were obtained for associated child and parent characteristics and characteristics of household pairs for child weight status.

FINDINGS: 36.3% of children experienced unhealthy weight with thinness being less common than overweight(13.6% vs. 15.6%). Over time(1988-2012), the proportion of unhealthy weight increased in the region, with overweight becoming more prevalent and thinness staying stable. In the region, children with obese mothers were more likely to be overweight(1.59) and less likely to be thin(0.74).Across the region, 7.8% of households were categorized as double burden.

INTERPRETATION: Our findings indicate thinness was a continual concern in the region, especially in Mauritania (34%). At the same time, overweight emerged as a potential health problem, especially in Egypt (22%). Children living in households with uneducated parents are at greatest risk for thinness while children living with an obese, highly educated mother are at greatest risk for overweight.

Table of Contents

Distribution Agreement i

Approval Sheet ii

Abstract Cover Page iii

AbstractivCover Page v

Acknowledgements vi

Table of Contents vii-viii

Chapter 1. Introduction 1-5

Chapter 2. Background 6-10

Chapter 3. Assessment of Unhealthy Weight in Children under Age Five in the Middle East and North African Region 11-31

Chapter 4. Factors Associated with Unhealthy Weight in Children under Age Five in the Middle East and North African Region 32-51

Chapter 5. Clustering of Unhealthy Weight in the Middle East and North African Region: Assessment of Nutritional Status and Associated Factors 52-74

Chapter 6. Conclusion 75-76

Bibliography 77-83

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