Geographic and Socioeconomic Disparity in Child Undernutrition across 514 Districts in Indonesia

Dumilah Ayuningtyas, Dwi Hapsari, Rika Rachmalina, Vilda Amir, Riani Rachmawati, Dian Kusuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Globally, in 2020, 45 million children were estimated to be wasted, and 149 million children under five years of age were estimated to be stunted. Undernutrition makes children in particular much more vulnerable to disease and death. Our study aims to examine geographic and socioeconomic disparities in child undernutrition across 514 districts in Indonesia. Methods: Employing both geospatial and quantitative analyses (descriptive statistics and Ordinary Least Squares regressions), we analyzed the disparities in the prevalence of underweight, severe underweight, wasting, severe wasting, stunting, and severe stunting among districts. Child undernu-trition data were from Indonesia Basic Health Survey (Riskesdas) 2018, which included a sample of 93,620 children under five years. Socioeconomic data were from the World Bank. Results: We found a relatively large geographic and socioeconomic disparity in child undernutrition in Indonesia. By region, districts in the Papua region (including Maluku and Nusa Tenggara) had a significantly higher prevalence of underweight and wasting than those in the Java region (including Bali). Districts in Papua had 44%, 121%, 38%, and 57% higher prevalence of underweight, severe underweight, wasting, and severe wasting, respectively. Similarly, the poorest districts had a significantly higher prevalence of underweight, wasting, and stunting than the wealthiest districts. The poorest districts had 30%, 83%, 16%, 21%, and 74% higher prevalence of underweight, severe underweight, wasting, stunting, and severe stunting, respectively. These results were similar among rural districts. Conclusion: There is a significant disparity in child undernutrition across districts in Indonesia. The government needs to prioritize the reduction of child undernutrition, especially in rural areas, districts outside of Java and Bali, and the poorest and least educated areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number843
JournalNutrients
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Geospatial
  • Indonesia
  • Malnutrition
  • Stunting
  • Undernutrition
  • Wasting

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