The determinants of growth failure in children under five in 25 low- and middle-income countries

Stephen Jiang, Jerry Sung, Rakshat Sawhney, Jinxuan Cai, Huaying Xu, Shu Kay Ng, Jing Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Background Past studies have identified determinants of growth failure (GF) such as socio-economic, nutritional, parenting, and inequality factors. However, few studies investigate the numerous causes of GF across multiple countries. By analysing the data of children under five in 25 low and middle-income countries, this study aims to examine the correlations of determinants with GF to identify the strongest modifiable risk factors. Methods Cross-sectional study design was used, and data were collected across 25 LMICs by the United Nations Children’s Fund in 2019. Regions and households were randomly selected in participating LMICs. The four outcome measures were stunting, wasting, underweight and low body mass index (BMI). Results Multilevel analysis was performed to identify the impact of country, suburb, and household levels on the variance of outcome variables. GF measures were significantly correlated with low gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (odds ratio (OR) = 2.482), rural areas (OR = 1.223), lack of health insurance (OR = 1.474), low maternal education (OR = 2.260), lack of plain water (OR = 1.402), poor maternal physical caregiving ability (OR = 1.112), low carbohydrate consumption (OR = 1.470), and continued breastfeeding in children?>12 months old (OR = 0.802). Conclusions By identifying key GF risk factors, this study may provide valuable insights for policymaking and interventions. This may allow the prioritisation of resources within countries for preventative measures to be developed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04077
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Global Health
Publication statusPublished - 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'The determinants of growth failure in children under five in 25 low- and middle-income countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this