Anthropometric Patterns and Correlates of Growth Attainment in Under-five Pakistani Children

Publication Year : 1999

This study investigates the question whether socio-economic, demographic and environmental variables within a household will affect the growth patterns of under-five Pakistani children. It also examines whether there are differentials in the growth patterns of these children by age and gender. Using the 1990-91 Demographic and Health Survey data, the focus is on children under-five years, the total children identified were 5902 while anthropometric measurement to assess the growth status was available for 4079 children. The results showed that nearly all the socio-demographic, economic and environmental variables were significantly associated with H/A and Wt/A. Children most likely to be stunted and underweight were those whose mothers were aged 40-44 years, mothers with no education, children from rural areas and children with birth interval <24 months. The multivariate analyses for Height/A model showed succeeding birth interval >24 months, mother’s age, her education and having toilet facilities in the house positively associated with growth attainment. For the Weight/A model succeeding birth interval >24 months, mother’s age, her education and having toilet facilities and electricity in the house, and living in Punjab and NWFP province positively associated with growth attainment. This study will be useful for policy-makers to develop programmes and guidelines needed to improve those socio-economic, demographic and environmental factors, responsible for the poor nutritional status of children under-five years of age in Pakistan.