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Am J Public Health. 1997 August; 87(8): 1356–1359.
PMCID: PMC1381101

The deterioration in children's nutritional status in rural Chad: the effect of mothers' influence on feeding.


OBJECTIVES: This study examined how maternal influence on child feeding modified the deterioration of child nutritional status in Chad. METHODS: The pattern of height with age was examined in 98 rural Chadian children aged 12 through 71 months from 64 households randomly chosen. RESULTS: Younger children were more stunted than older ones, probably reflecting secular deterioration in weanlings' nutritional status from 1982 to 1987. Children of mothers with influence over child feeding were taller than children of mothers with less influence, but this held only for the youngest children. CONCLUSIONS: Height-for-age can be a useful indicator of recent changes in social and environmental effects on child health. The mother's influence may have buffered the negative impact of socioeconomic conditions on child growth.

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