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This table indicates the nutritional status of children under age 5 as measured by stunting (low height-for-age) and various background characteristics. Nationally, 25 percent of children under age 5 are
stunted, and 8 percent are severely stunted. Analysis by age groups shows that stunting is highest (34 percent) among children age 24-35 months and lowest (9 percent) among children age 6 months. Severe stunting shows a similar trend, with children age 24-35 months having the highest proportion of severe stunting (12 percent) and those age 6-8 months having the lowest proportion (3 percent).More than one-quarter (26 percent) of male children are stunted, as compared with 23 percent of female children. There is an inverse relationship between the length of the preceding birth interval and the proportion of children who are stunted. The longer the interval, the less likely the child is to be stunted. For example, 26 percent of non-first-born children with a preceding birth interval of less than 24 months are stunted, compared with 21 percent with a birth interval of 48 months or more. The mother’s body mass index tends to have an inverse relationship with severe stunting levels. For example, 10 percent of children of mothers who are thin (BMI less than 18.5) are severely stunted, as compared with 7 percent of children whose mothers are overweight or obese (BMI of 25 or above). Children in rural areas are more likely than those in urban areas to be moderately stunted (29 percent and 19 percent, respectively) and severely stunted (10 percent and 6 percent, respectively).
At the Local Government Area (LGA) level, janjanbureh (35 percent) and Basse (32 percent) have the highest proportion of stunted children, while Banjul has the lowest (12 percent). Mother’s level of education generally has an inverse relationship with stunting levels. For example, children of mothers with a secondary education or higher are less likely to be stunted (15 percent) than children whose mothers have a primary education or no education (27-30 percent). A similar inverse relationship is observed between household wealth and stunting, with children living in households in the lowest wealth quintile most likely to be moderately and severely stunted (30 percent and 11 percent, respectively).The table also shows the nutritional status of children under age 5 as measured by wasting (low weight-for-height). Overall, 12 percent of children are wasted and 4 percent are severely wasted. Basse and Kuntaur have the highest levels of wasting (17 percent and 16 percent, respectively). These levels may reflect food stress in these regions, which traditionally encounter food deficits. Children whose mothers have a primary education are most likely to be wasted and severely wasted (15 percent and 7 percent, respectively).
Percentage of children under age 5 classified as malnourished according to three anthropometric indices of nutritional status: height-for-age, weight-forheight,and weight-for-age, by background characteristics, The Gambia 2013