Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Cited by 24
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Dukhi, Natisha Sartorius, Benn and Taylor, Myra 2016. Stunting in children (0–59 months): what is the current trend in South Africa?*. Early Child Development and Care, p. 1.

    Saaka, Mahama and Galaa, Sylvester Zackaria 2016. Relationships between Wasting and Stunting and Their Concurrent Occurrence in Ghanaian Preschool Children. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, Vol. 2016, p. 1.

    Novignon, Jacob Aboagye, Emmanuel Agyemang, Otuo Serebour and Aryeetey, Genevieve 2015. Socioeconomic-related inequalities in child malnutrition: evidence from the Ghana multiple indicator cluster survey. Health Economics Review, Vol. 5, Issue. 1,

    Said-Mohamed, Rihlat Micklesfield, Lisa K Pettifor, John M and Norris, Shane A 2015. Has the prevalence of stunting in South African children changed in 40 years? A systematic review. BMC Public Health, Vol. 15, Issue. 1,

    Fikadu, Teshale Assegid, Sahilu and Dube, Lamessa 2014. Factors associated with stunting among children of age 24 to 59 months in Meskan district, Gurage Zone, South Ethiopia: a case-control study. BMC Public Health, Vol. 14, Issue. 1,

    Portella, André Krumel and Silveira, Patrícia Pelufo 2014. Neurobehavioral determinants of nutritional security in fetal growth-restricted individuals. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 1331, Issue. 1, p. 15.

    Doak, Colleen M. Hoffman, Daniel J. Norris, Shane A. Campos Ponce, Maiza Polman, Katja and Griffiths, Paula L. 2013. Is body mass index an appropriate proxy for body fat in children?. Global Food Security, Vol. 2, Issue. 2, p. 65.

    Kirsten, Ap Marais, D and Schübl, C 2013. The influence of socio-demographic factors on the nutritional status of children in the Stellenbosch area, Western Cape. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 26, Issue. 3, p. 124.

    Tine, Roger C. K. Faye, Babacar Ndour, Cheikh T. Sylla, Khadime Sow, Doudou Ndiaye, Magatte Ndiaye, Jean L. Magnussen, Pascal Alifrangis, Michael Bygbjerg, Ib C. and Gaye, Oumar 2013. Parasitic Infections among Children under Five Years in Senegal: Prevalence and Effect on Anaemia and Nutritional Status. ISRN Parasitology, Vol. 2013, p. 1.

    Rossouw, Hermanus A. Grant, Catharina C. and Viljoen, Margaretha 2012. Overweight and obesity in children and adolescents: The South African problem. South African Journal of Science, Vol. 108, Issue. 5/6,

    CARSON, SCOTT ALAN 2011. Southeastern institutional change and biological variation: evidence from the 19th century Tennessee State Prison. Journal of Institutional Economics, Vol. 7, Issue. 03, p. 455.

    Iriart, Celia Handal, Alexis J. Boursaw, Blake and Rodrigues, Gabriela 2011. Chronic Malnutrition Among Overweight Hispanic Children: Understanding Health Disparities. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, Vol. 13, Issue. 6, p. 1069.

    Custodio, Estefanía Descalzo, Miguel Ángel Roche, Jesús Molina, Laura Sánchez, Ignacio Lwanga, Magdalena Torres, Alberto Manuel Fernández-Zincke, Eduardo Bernis, Cristina Villamor, Eduardo and Baylin, Ana 2010. The economic and nutrition transition in Equatorial Guinea coincided with a double burden of over- and under nutrition. Economics & Human Biology, Vol. 8, Issue. 1, p. 80.

    Gewa, Constance A 2010. Childhood overweight and obesity among Kenyan pre-school children: association with maternal and early child nutritional factors. Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 13, Issue. 04, p. 496.


    Poskitt, E. M. E. 2009. Countries in transition: underweight to obesity non-stop?. Annals of Tropical Paediatrics, Vol. 29, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Said-Mohamed, Rihlat Allirot, Xavier Sobgui, Makamto and Pasquet, Patrick 2009. Determinants of overweight associated with stunting in preschool children of Yaoundé, Cameroon. Annals of Human Biology, Vol. 36, Issue. 2, p. 146.

    2009. Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Health in Early Life, Second Edition.

    Hien, Nguyen Ngoc and Kam, Sin 2008. Nutritional Status and the Characteristics Related to Malnutrition in Children Under Five Years of Age in Nghean, Vietnam. Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Vol. 41, Issue. 4, p. 232.

    ., Veghari Gholamreza and ., Saeedi Mohsen 2007. The Comparative Study of Body Mass Index Distribution Among Preschool Children in a 7 Years Period in North of Iran. Journal of Applied Sciences, Vol. 7, Issue. 18, p. 2681.


Prevalence and determinants of stunting and overweight in 3-year-old black South African children residing in the Central Region of Limpopo Province, South Africa

  • Ramoteme L Mamabolo (a1) (a2), Marianne Alberts (a1), Nelia P Steyn (a2), Henriette A Delemarre-van de Waal (a3) and Naomi S Levitt (a4)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 January 2007

To determine the prevalence of stunting, wasting and overweight and their determinants in 3-year-old children in the Central Region of Limpopo Province, South Africa.


Prospective cohort study.


Rural villages in the Central Region of the Limpopo Province, South Africa.


One hundred and sixty-two children who were followed from birth were included in the study. Anthropometric measurements and sociodemographic characteristics of the children were recorded.


Height-for-age Z-scores were low, with a high prevalence of stunting (48%). The children also exhibited a high prevalence of overweight (22%) and obesity (24%). Thirty-one (19%) children were both stunted and overweight. Gaining more weight within the first year of life increased the risk of being overweight at 3 years by 2.39 times (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.96–4.18) while having a greater length at 1 year was protective against stunting (odds ratio (OR) 0.41; 95% CI 0.17–0.97). Having a mother as a student increased the risk for stunting at 3 years by 18.21 times (95% CI 9.46–34.74) while having a working mother increased the risk for overweight by 17.87 times (95% CI 8.24–38.78). All these factors also appeared as risks or as being protective in children who were both overweight and stunted, as did living in a household having nine or more persons (OR 5.72; 95% CI 2.7–12.10).


The results of this study highlight the importance of evaluating anthropometric status in terms of both stunting and overweight. Furthermore, it is important to realise the importance of normal length and weight being attained at 1 year of age, since these in turn predict nutritional status at 3 years of age.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Prevalence and determinants of stunting and overweight in 3-year-old black South African children residing in the Central Region of Limpopo Province, South Africa
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Prevalence and determinants of stunting and overweight in 3-year-old black South African children residing in the Central Region of Limpopo Province, South Africa
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Prevalence and determinants of stunting and overweight in 3-year-old black South African children residing in the Central Region of Limpopo Province, South Africa
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

5MA Saleemi , RN Ashraf , L Mellander , S Zaman . Determinants of stunting at 6, 12, 24 and 60 months and postnatal linear growth in Pakistani children. Acta Paediatrica 2001; 90: 1304–8.

6V Vella , A Tomkins , A Borghesi , GB Migliori , VY Oryem . Determinants of stunting and recovery from stunting in Northwest Uganda. International Journal of Epidemiology 1994; 23: 782–6.

9FA Ukwuani , CM Suchindran . Implications of women's work for child nutritional status in sub-Saharan Africa: a case study of Nigeria. Social Science & Medicine 2003; 56: 2109–21.

10S Hernandez-Diaz , KE Peterson , S Dixit , B Hernandez , S Parra , S Barquera , Association of maternal short stature with stunting in Mexican children: common genes vs common environment. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999; 53: 938–45.

14KD Monyeki , FJ van Lenthe , NP Steyn . Obesity; does it occur in African children in a rural community in South Africa?. International Journal of Epidemiology 1999; 28: 287–92.

15RL Mamabolo , M Alberts , GX Mbenyane , NP Steyn , NG Nthangeni , de Waal HA Delemarre-van , Feeding practices and growth of infants from birth to 12 months in the central region of the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Nutrition 2004; 20: 327–33.

16NP Steyn , D Labadarios , E Maunder , J Nel , C Lombard . Directors of the National Food Consumption Survey. Secondary anthropometric data analysis of the National Food Consumption Survey in South Africa: the double burden. Nutrition 2005; 21: 413.

22JA Yanovski , SZ Yanovski . Treatment of pediatric and adolescent obesity. Journal of the American Medical Association 2003; 289: 1851–3.

25TJ Cole , MC Bellizzi , KM Flegal , WH Dietz . Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: international survey. British Medical Journal 2000; 320: 16.

26KK Ong , ML Ahmed , PM Emmett , MA Preece , DB Dunger . The ALSPAC Study Team. Association between postnatal catch-up growth and obesity in childhood: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal 2000; 320: 967–71.

30WPT James , A Ferro-Luzzi , S Sette , CGN Mascie-Taylor . The potential use of maternal size in priority setting when combating childhood malnutrition. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999; 53: 112–9.

31DLM Lei , SP Chaves , AT Paes , MM Escuder , AB Ribeiro , RD Freire Risk of linear growth retardation during the first two years of life: a new approach. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999; 53: 456–60.

32SM Shah , BJ Selwyn , S Luby , A Merchant , R Bano . Prevalence and correlates of stunting among children in rural Pakistan. Pediatrics International 2003; 45: 4953.

33CP Sanchez-Castillo , JL Lara , AR Villa , J Aguirre , M Escobar , H Gutierrez , Unusually high prevalence rates of obesity in four Mexican rural communities. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001; 55: 833–40.

34R Martorell , LK Khan , ML Hughes , LM Grummer-Strawn . Overweight and obesity in preschool children from developing countries. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders 2001; 24: 959–67.

35E Zere , D McIntyre . Inequities in under-five child malnutrition in South Africa. International Journal for Equity in Health 2003; 2 7.

36AE Baughcum , SW Powers , SB Johnson , LA Chamberlin , CM Deeks , A Jain , Maternal feeding practices and beliefs and their relationships to overweight in early childhood. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 2001; 22: 391408.

37AE Baughcum , LA Chamberlin , CM Deeks , SW Powers , RC Whitaker . Maternal perceptions of overweight preschool children. Pediatrics 2000; 106: 1380–5.

39MS Faith , KL Keller , P Matz , SL Johnson , R Lewis , MA Jorge , Project Grow-2-Gether: a study of the genetic and environmental influences on child eating and obesity. Twin Research 2002; 5: 472–5.

40PL Engel . Influences of mother's and father's income on child's nutritional status in Guatemala. Social Science & Medicine 1993; 37: 1303–12.

47MK Serdula , D Ivery , RJ Coates , DS Freedman , DF Williamson , T Byers . Do obese children become obese adults? A review of the literature. Preventive Medicine 1993; 22: 167–77.

48RC Whitaker , JA Wright , MS Pepe , KD Siedel , WH Dietz . Predicting obesity in young adulthood from childhood and parental obesity. New England Journal of Medicine 1997; 337: 869–73.

53CM Law , AW Shiell , CA Newsome , HE Syddall , EA Shinebourne , PM Fayers , Fetal, infant, and chzildhood growth and adult blood pressure: a longitudinal study from birth to 22 years of age. Circulation 2002; 105: 1088–92.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *