This article was originally published here
BMJ Open. 2021 Nov 5;11(11):e053577. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-053577.
OBJECTIVES: To estimate the prevalence of various indicators of malnutrition (stunting, wasting, low birth weight, concurrent stunting and wasting, overweight/obesity and double burden malnutrition) among newborns and to investigate factors associated with these nutritional disorders.
METHODS: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted from 10 March through to May 2020. A total of 419 newborns were recruited into the study to estimate the prevalence of low birth weight and stunting. After excluding 28 newborns whose length was less than 45 cm, 394 newborn-mother dyads were approached to estimate wasting and overweight/obesity. A systematic random sampling technique was used to select participants. All independent variables were entered into the multivariable logistic regression model and variables that had significant associations were identified based on a p value.
RESULTS: A very small proportion of the newborns 2.5% (0.9% to 4.1%) were concurrently wasted and stunted. The prevalence rates of low birth weight and wasting were 20.8% (16.8% to 24.6%) and 10.9% (7.82% to 14.01%), respectively. The magnitude of overweight/obesity was 12.7% (9.3% to 15.9%) where 2.8% (1.1% to 4.4%) of newborns have the double burden of malnutrition. Having a father with a primary level of education 2.82 (1.19 to 6.65) and being stunted at birth 3.17 (1.6 to 6.0) were variables that were associated with increased odds of low birth weight. The odds of being overweight/obese are significantly higher among newborns born to mothers who are urban dwellers 0.35 (0.12 to 0.99).
CONCLUSIONS: The study underscores that malnutrition is a pressing public health concern that demands due emphasis. Fathers’ educational status (low level) and being stunted are associated with a high burden of low birth weight. Mothers’ residency (being urban) is associated with an elevated risk of overweight/obesity among newborns. Thus, improving the health literacy of fathers and preventing stunting at birth are recommended to mitigate low birth weight.