Risk factors for undernutrition of young children in a rural area of South Africa
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To identify the factors associated with childhood undernutrition. Cross-sectional survey. Hlabisa health district in KwaZulu/Natal, South Africa. Eight hundred and sixty-eight children aged 3–59 months. Questionnaire survey and anthropometric survey of 516 random households with children in the health district. Multivariate analysis took into account the hierarchical relationships between the proposed risk factors. This conceptual model was built up during qualitative studies and with reference to international research in this area. The mean Z-scores for weight-for-age and height-for-age were 20.52 (95% confidence interval (CI) 20.44 to 20.60) and 21.25 (95% CI 21.15 to 21.35), respectively. Of the children, 26.3% (95% CI 23.3–29.3%) were stunted, 12.0% (95% CI 9.8–4.2%) were underweight-for-age (UWFA) and only 1.3% were wasted.