Sociodemographic and environmental predictors of childhood stunting in rural Guatemala

Academic Article


  • The objective of this cross-sectional study was to determine sociodemographic and environmental factors associated with stunting in Guatemalan children living in two bordering rural communities of Cienaga Grande and El Pajon. Overall, 131 children aged 30 to 80 months were evaluated using less than -2 height-for-age, weight-for-age, and weight-for-height z scores. The children's caretakers completed a survey and a stool sample collected from each child was tested for Giardia lamblia infection. The overall prevalence of stunting, underweight, and wasting in the study population was 34.4%, 7.6%, and 0.8%, respectively. Children with illiterate primary caregivers were 5 times more likely to be stunted (odds ratio 5.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.37-16.67) compared with their counterparts with literate primary caregivers. Children living in households with 4 or more children were also three times more likely to be stunted (odds ratio 2.86; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-7.14) than children living in less crowded households. Caregiver educational status and household size are important predictors of stunting in rural Guatemala. Addressing these sociodemographic factors will help prevent future impairment of physical and mental development in children and will assist in alleviating malnutrition and improving their quality of health. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

  • Nutrition Research  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sereebutra P; Solomons N; Aliyu MH; Jolly PE
  • Start Page

  • 65
  • End Page

  • 70
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 2