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Role of parental education in reduction of prevalence of childhood undernutrition in Bangladesh

  • Md. Belal Hossain (a1) and Md Hasinur Rahaman Khan (a1)

Despite progress, levels of malnutrition among children in Bangladesh are among the highest in the world and this is one of the major causes of death in children. The pace of reduction in the prevalence of undernutrition among children is still relatively low. The present study aimed to examine the association between parental education and childhood undernutrition among Bangladeshi children under 5 years of age when adjusting for potential risk factors.


The data set was extracted from a nationally representative survey based on a cross-sectional study, the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 2014.


The base survey was conducted using a two-stage stratified sample of households. In the first stage, 600 enumeration areas (EA) were selected with probability proportional to EA size (207 EA from urban areas, 393 EA from rural areas).


A total of 7173 children under 5 years from 17 863 households were considered for the analysis. A modified Poisson regression model was implemented to the data for assessing the relationship between parental education and childhood undernutrition when demographic and socio-economic covariates for the child, parents, households and clustering were adjusted.


Higher parental education level was associated with lower levels of stunting and underweight, but not with wasting. Maternal and paternal education were both significantly associated with the reduction in prevalence of childhood undernutrition in Bangladesh.


Paternal education appears equally as important as maternal education in reducing undernutrition prevalence among children under 5 years in Bangladesh.

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Public Health Nutrition
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