The rise in stunting in relation to avian influenza and food consumption patterns in Lower Egypt in comparison to Upper Egypt: results from 2005 and 2008 DHS

Publish Date: March 2015
Author: Justine A Kavle, Fatma El-Zanaty, Megan Landry and Rae Galloway
Language: English

This open access article in BMC Public Health examines determinants of stunting between 2006 and 2008 in Egyptian children 6 – 59 months of age within the context of a 2006 avian influenza outbreak. There was mass removal of chickens in Lower Egypt as a result of the outbreak, which decreased the household supply of poultry, a key animal-source food that contains nutrients critical for child growth.

Decreased dietary diversity, reduced poultry consumption, substitution of nutritious foods with sugary foods paralleled a reduction in household raising of birds, following the AI outbreak in Lower Egypt and not Upper Egypt. Increased feeding of sugary foods due to fear of illness or greater penetration of these foods may be related to stunting. Advice on infant and young child feeding is needed to improve dietary intake and reduce sugary food consumption.

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