BACKGROUND: The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity is increasing in low-and middle income countries such as Nepal. At the same time, high prevalence of chronic undernutrition persists leading to a double burden of malnutrition. AIM: To identify associations between the socioeconomic status of mothers, food security, the food safety environment within the household, and prevalence of stunting and overweight of the children. METHODS: Statistical analysis of socioeconomic, food safety-related and anthropometric data from 289 mother-child dyads in an urban area of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. RESULTS: According to WHO standards, 26 % of the children, aged 0-59 months, were stunted, 10 % were underweight, and 6.6 % were either overweight or obese. Significantly more boys than girls were underweight (p = 0.004) and stunted (p < 0.001). The higher education level of mothers was associated with a higher height-for-age (HAZ) score in girls, but not with HAZ in boys. Irrespective of sex, children of mothers with highest education level had significantly lower BMI-for-age scores (BAZ) than those of mothers with low education levels. None of the food safety indicators were associated with either HAZ or the BAZ. CONCLUSION: The education level of mothers seems to be relevant to help reduce the double burden of malnutrition at least in some regions of Nepal. This should be taken into consideration when designing programmes to prevent both chronic undernutrition and non-communicable diseases.
- Sundhed, ernæring og livskvalitet