Background: Information on the part that poor food-hygiene practices play a role in the development of diarrhea in low socioeconomic urban communities is lacking. This study was therefore aimed at assessing the contribution of food-hygiene practice to the prevalence of diarrhea among Indonesian children. Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 274 randomly selected children aged 12-59 months in selected low socioeconomic urban areas of East Jakarta. The prevalence of diarrhea was assessed from 7-day records on frequency and consistency of the child's defecation pattern. Food-hygiene practices including mother's and child's hand washing, food preparation, cleanliness of utensils, water source and safe drinking water, habits of buying cooked food, child's bottle feeding hygiene, and housing and environmental condition were collected through home visit interviews and observations by fieldworkers. Thirty-six practices were scored and classified into poor (median and below) and better (above median) food-hygiene practices. Nutritional status of children, defined anthropometrically, was measured through height and weight. Results: Among the individual food-hygiene practices, children living in a house with less dirty sewage had a significantly lower diarrhea prevalence compared to those who did not [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.03-0.73]. The overall food-hygiene practice score was not significantly associated with diarrhea in the total group, but it was in children aged < 2 years (adjusted OR 4.55, 95% CI = 1.08-19.1). Conclusions: Overall poor mother's food-hygiene practices did not contribute to the occurrence of diarrhea in Indonesian children. However, among children < 2 years from low socioeconomic urban areas they were associated with more diarrhea.
- Food-hygiene practices
- Urban low socioeconomic areas
- Young children