Potential risk of stunting in children under five years living by the riverside: A systematic review

Ridha Restila, Bambang Wispriyono, Ririn Arminsih, Umar Fahmi Achmadi, Tri Yunis Miko, Defriman Djafri, Miko Hananto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Stunting, or linear growth failure, is defined by a height-for-age z-score of below -2SD according to WHO growth standard. Stunting can have short-, medium-, and long-term consequences. Rivers have an important role in human life. In several riverside areas, households still depend on the river for their livelihoods and health. This study aimed to explore the prevalence of stunting in children living by the riverside and its related factors. Methods: Epidemiological studies published from PUBMED, MEDLINE via EBSCOHost, Science Direct, ProQuest, and Research Gate databases were systematically searched. The publication period was not restricted. Only open-access and English articles were examined. Results: A total of 20 from 1200 studies were reviewed. The prevalence of stunting ranged from 20% to 48.3%. The other outcomes besides stunting were wasting and underweight status. There were 83 risk factors studied, and the most studied variables were age, gender, diarrhoea, water source, parent’s education, immunisation, and inappropriate complementary feeding practices (6 to 13 studies). Household water sources from rivers and economic status were consistently correlated with stunting. Majority of the risk factors studied were related to nutrition. From the environmental aspect, the most studied risk factors were water sources and sanitation. Conclusion: Children living by the riverside face a significant risk of stunting attributed to the consistent correlation between household water sources from rivers and economic status, affecting various aspects of daily life beyond drinking water. Future research is needed to examine the impact of environmental factors and the behaviours of riverside communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-399
Number of pages21
JournalMalaysian Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • children
  • risk factor
  • river
  • riverside
  • stunting


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