Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Nutrition Exercise and Health Sciences

Publication Date




To examine the contribution of child, maternal and household factors in stunting, wasting and underweight among children under 5 years in Ethiopia. Design

Quantitative cross-sectional design based on nationally representative data. Setting

Urban and rural areas of Ethiopia. Participants

Younger (0–24 months; n 4199) and older age groups (25–59 months; n 5497), giving a total of 9696 children. Results

Among the younger age group, 29 % were stunted, 14 % were wasted and 19 % were underweight; and among the older age group, the prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight was 47, 8 and 28 %, respectively. Being female, intake of multiple micronutrients, household having a piped source of drinking-water, high maternal BMI, higher household wealth and higher maternal education were associated with decreased odds of at least one form of undernutrition in both groups. On the other hand, children who were anaemic, had low birth weight, drank from a bottle, and children of stunted or wasted or working mothers were more likely to be stunted, wasted or underweight in both groups (P<0·05). While most predictors and/or risk factors followed a similar pattern across the two age groups, child factors had higher leverage in the younger than the older group across the three forms of undernutrition. Conclusions

Multiple set of factors predicted childhood undernutrition in Ethiopia. The study underscores the importance of intervening in the first 1000 days through promoting maternal education, maternal–child health services, mother’s nutrition and improving intrahousehold food distribution.


This article was originally published in Public Health Nutrition. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


Public Health Nutrition


© The Authors 2019