Background: Malnutrition is a major contributor to children’s low growth, development and also disease. To inform policymakers’ planning and action, this study aimed to assess malnutrition in under-5 children and its relationship with the household socioeconomic status.
Methods: The data of this cross-sectional survey was collected through a valid and reliable questionnaire including demographic, nutritional and socioeconomic data. Through proportional and random cluster sampling, 3980 children aged 6 to 59 months old were selected as the participants of the study. The data were analyzed through Chi-Square and ANOVA tests using EpiNut and Stata software.
Results: 138 (3.5%) had severe stunting (height for age), 58 (1.5%) severe low weighting (weight for age), 81 (2%) severe weight loss, 87 (2.2%) obesity based on BMI for age, 66 (1.7%) severe wasting and 84 (2.1) obese based on weight for height. Height and weight for age were significantly associated with father’s job and BMI for age was associated with household socio-economic status (p<0.05).
Conclusion: In spite of performing nationwide programs targeting under 5 children, the prevalence of malnutrition problems was high. This study indicated that the household socio-economic status is an effective factor. This indicates that the supporting measures such as insurance and free services for the poor are not well designed, targeted and administered.