Multilevel analysis of trends and predictors of concurrent wasting and stunting among children 6–59 months in Ethiopia from 2000 to 2019

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Roba A. A., BAŞDAŞ Ö.

Frontiers in Nutrition, vol.10, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3389/fnut.2023.1073200
  • Journal Name: Frontiers in Nutrition
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: concurrent wasting and stunting, DHS, multi-level analysis, predictors, Trends
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: Emerging evidence indicates that children can be concurrently wasted and stunted (WaSt), increasing their mortality risk. However, more is needed to know about WaSt in Ethiopia. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the trends and predictors of WaSt using Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey datasets from 2000 and 2019. Methods: The study included a total weighted sample of 34,930 children aged 6–59 months. Descriptive and weighted multilevel mixed-effects (fixed and random effects) logistic regression analyses were carried out. The Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) and the Median Odds Ratio (MOR) were calculated. Results: The prevalence of WaSt was 1,682 (4.82%) with a significantly decreasing trend, yielding a percent change of −57.51% (−69.37% to −23.52%) from 2000 to 2019. In the adjusted model, the odds of WaSt increased in boys, children with a shorter preceding birth interval, small birth size, delayed initiation of complementary foods, diarrhea, fever, and anemia, mother’s lack of formal education, and being a farmer, and poor/middle wealth index, and lack of mass media exposure. WaSt was inversely related to the child’s age. Adjusted ICC and MOR were 31.16% and 3.20%, respectively. Conclusion and recommendations: The study highlights the importance of considering individual and community-level factors to address WaSt, such as timely initiation of complementary foods, improving access to health services, quality diet, and prevention of communicable diseases. Furthermore, programs that have positive impacts on formal education and employment opportunities for girls, as well as that increase access to mass media, are required.