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The Association Between Household Wealth and Nutritional Status of Preschool Children in Tanzania: Evidence from the 2012/13 National Panel Survey

Samwel Saimon Lwiza


This study aims to investigate the association between household wealth and nutritional status among preschool children in Tanzania. The analysis is based on a nationally representative sample of 2,120 children from the Tanzania National Panel Survey (NPS), 2012/13. Household wealth was measured by wealth index constructed using the Principal Component Analysis (PCA); whereas child stunting and underweight were used to determine the nutritional status of a child. Results indicate that the prevalence of children stunting and underweight were 40% and 21%, respectively. Multivariate logistic regression model shows that the proportion of stunting and underweight in the poorest 20% households were twice and six times as high as that of the richest 20% households, respectively. Moreover, children from the poorest households were nearly three and two times more likely to be stunted and underweight relative to children from richest households. Other factors significantly associated with child undernourishment include; household size, age of the household head, age and sex of a child, occurrence of diarrhoea, paternal education, marital status, and place of residence. The study concludes that household wealth is one of the main factors for malnutrition. It reveals the importance of interventions aimed not only at improving household economic status but also strengthening family planning policies, and improving primary health care and sanitation, as solutions for malnutrition.




Keywords: wealth status, stunting, underweight, preschool children, Tanzania

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