Currently the prevalence of wasting in Bangladesh is 14%. We aim to identify the determining factors of childhood wasting in rural Bangladesh.
We used data from a cross-sectional survey conducted in Mymensingh and Rajshahi regions of Bangladesh between July to October 2014 covering 7039 children under-five years of age. Our primary outcome was wasting among under-five children. We categorised children into two groups: 6-23 months (n=2507) and 24-59 (n=3991) months to address the difference in IYCF practices. Our analysis includes descriptive statistics and bi-variate logistic regressions.
17 percent children under-five years were wasted in the study area. Prevalence of wasting was 17% and 19% among 6-23 months and 24-59 months old children respectively. Bivariate analysis revealed that among children aged 6-23 months, those belonging to the highest wealth quintile were 33 times less likely to be wasted [OR 0.67 (P<0.05] compared to children in the lowest wealth quintile. Those coming from food secured households [OR-0.81 (P<0.05)] were 19 times less likely to be wasted compared to food insecured households. Mothers and fathers having 6 or more years of education ([OR 0.72(P<0.05)] and [OR 0.72(P<0.005)]) were protective against wasting. For children aged 24-59 months, those from the highest wealth quintile [OR 0.74(P<0.05)] were 26 times more protected against wasting while those having any illness in two weeks prior to the survey [OR 1.43 (P<0.000)] were 43 times more likely to be wasted.
Household food security, economic status and parents’ educational attainment along with reduction of childhood illnesses can significantly reduce childhood wasting.