Maternal and Child Nutrition Status in Rural Communities of Kalalé District, Benin: The Relationship and Risk Factors

Halimatou Alaofè, Ibitola Asaolu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Double burden of malnutrition (DBM) is an emerging public health concern in urban Benin. However, an understanding of the phenomena in rural areas of the country is lacking. Objectives: To assess the prevalence of DBM and to investigate the sociodemographic and dietary characteristics that differentiate DBM from undernourished children only, overweight/obese mothers only, and normal households in Kalalé district. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 426 mother–child pairs: nonpregnant women aged 15 to 49 years and children aged 6 to 59 months. Weight-for-age and height-for-age were used to classify underweight and stunted children, body mass index ≥25 kg/m2 to measure overweight/obese mothers, and a 24-hour recall to assess the diet diversity score (DDS). Results: Overall, 37.6% of children were stunted, 10.1% wasted, and 22.8% underweight, while the rate of overweight/obese mothers was 15.5%. The DBM was present in 6.1% of the households. Overweight/obese mothers’ households had better socioeconomic status (SES), greater maternal education, less food insecurity, and a more diversified diet, in contrast with undernourished children households. The DBM households shared several features with undernourished children households, except for a greater (not significant) SES, but had the lowest DDS. Logistical regression revealed that high SES, older age child, DDS, mother education, and ethnicity were associated with DBM. Conclusions: The study highlights the importance of addressing the DBM at the community level in rural Benin. However, multicenter studies in various rural parts of the country are needed to substantiate the present results, so that appropriate strategies to reduce the DBM can be planned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-70
Number of pages15
JournalFood and Nutrition Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Benin
  • children
  • dietary diversity
  • nutritional status
  • rural regions
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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