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J Epidemiol Glob Health. 2012 Dec;2(4):181-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jegh.2012.12.002. Epub 2013 Jan 12.

Assessing the silent epidemic of malnutrition in Palestinian preschool children.

Author information

1
Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Alexander Technological Educational Institute, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The nutritional status of children living under conflict is an important issue. The aim of the present study is to review all available data on malnutrition in preschool Palestinian children and provide objective results concerning the epidemic of malnutrition.

METHODS:

The literature for all research on the prevalence of malnutrition on Palestinian children with data collected during the period 1998-2007 was reviewed. Der Simonian-Laird Random effects model for meta-analysis was applied and cumulative analyses were performed to determine time-trends for each outcome measure (iron deficiency anemia [IDA], wasting, underweight and stunting).

FINDINGS:

The results showed that 39.5% of the children suffered from IDA, 2.9% from wasting, 4.7% were underweight and 10.9% stunted. The cumulative analyses showed a peak in the prevalence of IDA during 1999, followed by an irregular decrease afterward. The proportion of wasted and underweight children peaked during 2002 and 2004, respectively, both showing a gradual decline afterward. Chronic malnutrition appears to be almost similar during the decade 1998-2007, by demonstrating small, irregular oscillations.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although the prevalence of malnutrition among Palestinian preschool children has been improved during the studied period, it still remains high. Additionally, the results show that interventions/aid have acute effects on the health of children.

FUNDING:

None.

KEYWORDS:

Iron deficiency anemia; Malnutrition; Stunting; Underweight; Wasting

PMID:
23856499
DOI:
10.1016/j.jegh.2012.12.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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