Maternal Characteristics and Weight-for-length Status of Young Children Aged 0–23 Months in the Philippines

  • Alea Paula V. Hinojosa University of the Philippines Los Banos (Undergraduate)
  • Nancy A. Tandang University of the Philippines Los Banos
  • Divine Grace C. Domingo
Keywords: maternal characteristics, nutrition survey, overweight, wasting, young children


Introduction. Malnutrition in the forms of wasting and overweight among children ages 0 to 23 months is a continuing public health concern in the Philippines. Childhood malnutrition has lifelong consequences. For young children aged 0-23 months, maternal influences play a significant role in the realization of optimal nutritional status.

Objective. This study aimed to identify maternal characteristics that may influence the nutritional status of children aged 0–23 months.

Methods. This study utilized data from the 2015 Updating Survey from Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute. The association of maternal characteristics with the nutritional status of a child was determined using the Rao-Scott Chi-squared test statistic. Multinomial logistic regression was used to model a child’s nutritional status using weight-for-length as an indicator.

Results. A child whose mother was educated was less likely to be wasted. The odds of a child being wasted was observed to increase with underweight mothers, longer duration of lactation and higher wealth quintile. Alternatively, the odds of a child to be overweight is reduced if the mother had formal education, was in late lactation stage, and availed tetanus toxoid vaccine. The likelihood that a child will be overweight increased with higher family wealth quintile and obesity of the mother.

Conclusion. Maternal nutritional status, education, duration of lactation, wealth quintile, and availment of prenatal services were found to be associated with the weight-for-height status of children 0–23 months. Incorporating the identified maternal factors when planning new interventions and policies is recommended to address wasting in young children.


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