Determinants of child undernutrition in Bangladesh: literature review

Determinants of child undernutrition in Bangladesh: literature review

This literature review aims to identify, review and summarise existing research evidence on the determinants of undernutrition in children aged two years and below in Bangladesh. The review gathers available evidence on the immediate, underlying and basic determinants of child undernutrition in accordance with the UNICEF conceptual framework of malnutrition (1990).

The review takes its reference from the UNICEF Conceptual Framework (1990) which identifies the basic causes of undernutrition as: household access to resources (such as land, income, technology and income) inadequate social, physical and human capital and the surrounding socio-cultural, political and economic context. These in turn are connected to the underlying causes: household food insecurity, inadequate care and feeding practices, unhealthy household environment and lack of access or inadequate health services. These then feed into the immediate causes, identified as diet and disease/illness. Each category is subdivided into more specific thematic sub-categories, however these sub-divisions should not be considered as discrete as many are cross-cutting and connect with different causal pathways for child undernutrition in the Bangladeshi context. The temporal impact of these factors on nutritional status can be short-term, long-term and intergenerational.