The Relationship Between Food Insecurity and Anthropometric Measures at Birth in Low Income Households
Iranian Journal of Pediatrics
Food security is one of the important factors that influence health and well-being throughout the life cycle. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the relationship between household (HH) food security status and anthropometric indices at birth and before 6-years-of age among children in a low income community in Mashhad city. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 240 Iranian HHs which had at least one under 6-year old child were selected through systematic cluster sampling. Height and
... ght of children were measured. Also, their length and weight at birth were collected from their vaccination certificate. Anthropometric status (based on z-scores) of children were evaluated by WHO Anthro-Plus software. Results: Severe, moderate, and mild food insecurity was observed in 7.1, 20, and 34.2% of the HHs, respectively. A significant association was observed between HH food insecurity and average height of their under 6-year-old children. There was no association between HH food insecurity and children's measurements at birth (P > 0.05). Comparison of anthropometric status at birth and between 1 to 6 years of age in food secure and insecure groups based on Wilcoxon test, showed a significant difference between z-scores of weight for age (WAZ) and body mass index (BMI) for age (BAZ) in children from food insecure HHs. Conclusions: The results suggest that children in food insecure HHs do not necessarily have abnormal weight and length at birth, but growing up in a food insecure HH may lead to abnormal anthropometric status. Proper strategies to ensure food security in low income HHs may help to prevent child undernutrition.