Factors Affecting Malnutrition and Failure to Thrive in Children Under 2 Years of Age in Shahroud, Iran, in 2015

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Background: Malnutrition and failure to thrive (FTT) is a delay or a halt in children’s growth, which leads to serious compilations if it is left untreated. Malnutrition due to its prevalence is the most important nutritional disease in developing countries and has the most prevalence among infants and preschool children. This study aimed at rating and determining the effective factors of malnutrition incidence and growth delay among 0 to 24 months children. Methods: To identify children under 2 years of age, we referred to health centers and health stations in the city of Shahroud (Northeast of Iran) in 2015. Using cluster sampling, 706 children were surveyed. Anthropometric indices with international reference standards were compared. The values obtained for less than 2 standard deviations as stunting, underweight, wasting, and FTT were defined. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software with significance level set at 0.05. Results: The results indicated the existence of malnutrition in the region. Based on the findings, the percentage of underweight, wasting, stunting and ratio of head circumference with age was determined to be 1.7%, 5.4%, 9.5%, and 8.6%, respectively; and considering the category of growth disorder, Type 1, 2, and 3 were, respectively, 1.7%, 5.2% and 3.1%. Factors affecting malnutrition included age, birth weight, birth spacing, and the mother’s BMI at child birth. Conclusions: Tracking the status of children with growth disorder and malnutrition, offering appropriate interventions, considering the nutrition status of mothers during pregnancy, and providing appropriate nutritional counseling are of prime importance to attend to this problem.