Living arrangements and nutritional status of under-five children in Sub-Saharan Africa

Pamela C Banda, Lorretta F Ntoimo, Emmanuel O Olamijuwon


Despite efforts aimed at improving the nutritional status of children under-five years, only a slow progress has been made in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Using data from the latest Demographic and Health Surveys of 17 countries in SSA, we illuminate the association between living arrangement and the nutritional status of 144,765 children under five years. Results showed that living with only the father compared to both parents was associated with a higher risk of malnutrition in SSA [OR:1.18, CI:1.03-1.30] while not living with both parents was associated with a higher risk of malnutrition in West Africa [OR:1.25, CI:1.02-1.54]. Lower risk of malnutrition was observed among children residing in households headed by their mother compared to those headed by their father in West Africa [OR:0.76, CI:0.66-0.87] and SSA [OR:0.83, CI:0.77-0.90]. These results suggest that with whom and where children live as well as biological relationships are vital in improving children’s nutritional status in SSA.

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ISSN 2308-7854 (online); ISSN 0850-5780 (print)

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