Factors Associated with Growth in the First Year of Life in Egyptian Children: Implications for the Double Burden of Malnutrition

Publish Date: February 2015
Author: Justine Kavle, Valerie Flax, Ali Abdelmegeid, Farouk Salah, Seham Hafez, Magda Ramzy, Doaa Hamed, Gulsen Saleh and Rae Galloway
Language: English

Optimal growth in infancy and early childhood is critical to the attainment of human capital and economic development in low and middle income countries. Stunted children often become adults of small stature, with limited work productivity and reduced lifetime wage earnings. Stunting remains an important problem in Egypt, with approximately one-third of children < 5 years of age affected. A number of factors, including diarrheal illness, febrile infections, breastfeeding practices, and dietary quantity and quality of complementary foods, are known to be associated with growth.

The primary objective of this study was to determine whether there were differences between Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt in growth patterns and factors related to growth in within the context of a U.S. government-funded maternal and child health integrated program. The secondary objective was to examine the relationship between weight and length to ascertain if weight loss in any two-month interval contributes to stunting at 12 months of age. Findings presented in this report reveal that overweight and stunting begin in the first year of life among Egyptian infants and have implications for nutrition programs in Egypt.

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