Main Determinants of Socioeconomic Disparities in Children and Adolescents’ Malnutrition: Evidence from Latin America

Sandra Garcia, Universidad de los Andes
Olga Sarmiento, Universidad de los Andes

The double burden of malnutrition constitutes a public health problem in many developing countries. Using data from the 2005 Colombian Demographic and Health Survey, this paper estimates the socioeconomic disparities in malnutrition in children and adolescents and evaluates the main factors that explain these disparities. Preliminary findings: In both urban and rural areas a social gradient for malnutrition is found, although operating differently depending on the nutritional outcome. While children living in the poorest households are substantially more likely to be stunted, the opposite is true for overweight/obesity: children from the richest households are more likely to be overweight or obese than their poorest counterparts. Across age groups, about 50% of the socioeconomic disparities in stunting are due to mother’s education and care practices. Depending on the age group, an additional 12% to 38% of the disparities are explained by access to water and sanitation. Further contextual characteristics will be analyzed.

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Presented in Poster Session 6