Higher household expenditure on animal-source and nongrain foods lowers the risk of stunting among children 0-59 months old in Indonesia: Implications of rising food prices

Mayang Sari, Saskia De Pee, Martin W. Bloem, Kai Sun, Andrew L. Thorne-Lyman, Regina Moench-Pfanner, Nasima Akhter, Klaus Kraemer, Richard D. Semba

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Abstract

Because the global financial crisis and high food prices affect food consumption, we characterized the relationship between stunting and nongrain food expenditure at the household level among children 0-59 mo old in Indonesia's rural and urban poor population. Expenditure and height-for-age data were obtained from a population-based sample of 446,473 children in rural and 143,807 in urban poor areas in Indonesia. Expenditure on food was grouped into categories: animal, plant, total nongrain, and grain. The prevalence of stunting in rural and urban poor areas was 33.8 and 31.2%, respectively. In rural areas, the odds ratios (OR) (5th vs. first quintile) for stunting were similar for proportion of household expenditure on animal (0.87; 95% CI = 0.85-0.90; P < 0.0001), plant (0.86; 95% CI = 0.84-0.88; P < 0.0001), and total nongrain (0.85; 95% CI = 0.83-0.87; P < 0.0001). In urban poor areas, the relationship between stunting and proportion of household expenditure on animal sources was stronger than in rural areas (OR 0.78; 95% CI = 0.74-0.81; P < 0.0001), whereas the relationship with nongrain was similar to rural areas (OR 0.88; 95% CI = 0.85-0.92; P < 0.0001) and no relationship was observed with plant sources (OR 0.97; 95% CI = 0.93-1.01; P = 0.13). For grain expenditure, OR for stunting in highest vs. lowest quintile was 1.21 (95% CI = 1.18-1.24; P < 0.0001) in rural and 1.09 (95%CI = 1.04-1.13; P < 0.0001) in urban poor areas. Thus, households that spent a greater proportion on nongrain foods, in particular animal source foods, had a lower prevalence of child stunting. This suggests potential increased risk of malnutrition associated with reductions of household expenditure due to the current global crises.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195S-200S
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume140
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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