Risk factors for wasting and stunting among children in Metro Cebu, Philippines

Judith A. Ricci, Stan Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Risk factors for wasting and stunting were examined in a longitudinal study of 18 544 children younger than 30 mo in Metro Cebu, Philippines. Measures of household demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, maternal characteristics and behavior, and child biological variables were analyzed cross-sectionally in six child age-residence strata by using logistic regression. Our results support biological and epidemiologic evidence that wasting and stunting represent different processes of malnutrition. They also indicate that the principal risk factors for stunting and wasting in infants < 6 mo of age were either maternal behaviors or child biological characteristics under maternal control, eg, breast-feeding status and birth weight. After 6 mo of age, household socioeconomic characteristics emerged with behavioral and biological variables as important determinants of malnutrition, eg, father's education and presence of a television and/or radio. Household socioeconomic status influenced the risk of stunting earlier in rural than in urban barangays. Implications of the results for interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)966-975
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthropometry
  • malnutrition
  • nutritional disorders
  • risk factors
  • stunting
  • wasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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