177482 Low Maternal Nutritional Status in Bangladesh: Solid Fuels and Rural Residence Matter but NGO Membership Does Not

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 8:50 AM

Mohammed Omar Rahman, MD, MPH, DSc , MPH program, Independent University, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Abul Kalam Azad, MSc; MPH , School of Environmental Sciences and Management, Independent University, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
It has long been recognized that maternal nutritional status is quite low in the developing world. However little is known about the socio-demographic determinants of this situation. This study uses a large nationally representative dataset from Bangladesh (Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey—2004) to explore the socio-demographic determinants of low maternal BMI. The analysis (binary logistic regression adjusting for clustering) shows that a number of factors in a fully adjusted model increase the risk of low maternal BMI (BMI <18). Some of the results are intuitive: household poverty defined here as being in the bottom 60% of household assets remains the biggest predictor of low maternal nutritional status [OR: 1.85; 95% C.I. (1.62---2.12)]. Other results are more intriguing: the use of solid fuels for cooking (a marker of environmental pollution) has a major impact on low maternal BMI [OR: 1.83; 95% C.I. (1.39---2.41)]. This warrants further exploration as does the rural residence disadvantage [OR: 1.33; 95% C.I. (1.08---1.64)]. In a cumulative sense, each additional birth significantly lowers maternal BMI [OR: 1.09; 95% C.I. (1.06---1.12)] underscoring the need for lower numbers of births. Finally it is particularly interesting to note that NGO membership status which is often proclaimed as being beneficial to maternal health and nutrition has no statistically significant impact on maternal nutritional status in this study [OR: 0.94; 95% C.I. (0.84---1.05)] . These results suggest that much more attention needs to be placed on reducing household poverty, reducing the use of solid fuels for cooking, increasing rural nutritional resources and increasing family planning services.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify risk factors for low maternal nutritional status in the developing world 2. Analyze and evaluate the impact of socio-demographic factors on low maternal nutritional status with a particular focus on rural residence, environmnetal pollution, and NGO membership 3. Discuss the policy implications for improving maternal nutritional status in developing countries

Keywords: Women's Health, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the first author of this paper
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Women’s Health
See more of: International Health