Urban nutrition
 

Assessment of Nutritional Status in Urban Areas

Nutritional status of children under five years of age

Data from recent anthropometric surveys in selected countries in Africa and Asia were analyzed by urban or rural residence and by differing socio-economic groups where possible. In general, children under five years of age in urban areas are less underweight and stunted than children in rural areas. For some countries the prevalence of acute malnutrition (wasting) is nearly the same in urban and rural areas, while chronic malnutrition (stunting) and underweight tend to be higher in rural areas.

Data on children living in slum areas was available for Bangladesh and Indonesia. These data show the prevalence of underweight, stunting and wasting were higher in the slum areas than in the rural or urban (total) population. These two country examples highlight the importance of stratifying data in urban areas by socio-economic status as there can be large differences between socio-economic groups in cities.

Where time series data is available, the overall trend tends to show improvement (overtime) in anthropometric indicators of nutritional status for most, but not all countries.

Asia

  • Bangladesh - Time series data on the prevalence of Underweight, Acute and Chronic Malnutrition
  • Bangladesh, 1999 - Prevalence of Malnutrition in Urban and Rural Areas
  • India - Time series data on the prevalence of Underweight, Acute and Chronic Malnutrition
  • Indonesia, 1999/2000 - Prevalence of Chronic Malnutrition in Slum Areas

Africa

  • Ghana, 1998/99 - Prevalence of Underweight, Acute and Chronic Malnutrition
  • Ghana - Time series data on the prevalence of Underweight, Acute and Chronic Malnutrition
  • Ivory Coast, 1998/99 - Prevalence of Underweight, Acute and Chronic Malnutrition
  • Kenya, 1998 - Prevalence of Underweight, Acute and Chronic Malnutrition
  • Niger, 2000 - Prevalence of Underweight, Acute and Chronic Malnutrition
  • Tanzania, 1999 - Prevalence of Underweight, Acute and Chronic Malnutrition
  • Tanzania - Time series data on the prevalence of Underweight, Acute and Chronic Malnutrition

Data from WHO Global Database on Child growth and Malnutrition

Analysis of Body Mass Index for Women

Data gathered during DHS round surveys were analyzed for trends in BMI of women from urban and rural areas.

The DHS data on South Asia covers four countries (Bangladesh, 1996/97 and 1999/2000, Cambodia 2000, India 1998/99 and Nepal 1996 and 2001) including repeat studies in Bangladesh and Nepal. The region of South Asia has the greatest percent of women with low BMI in both urban (17 - 36%) and rural (22 - 54%) areas. There is a clear trend present in all six surveys for a larger percentage of women in rural areas to have BMI <18.5.

DHS data on sub-Saharan Africa include surveys from 27 countries, including 11 countries with repeat surveys. The data for sub-Saharan Africa was analyzed for those countries with repeat surveys. The same trend for a larger percentage of low BMI in women in rural compared to urban areas was noted, with the exception of the last survey round in Zimbabwe, were the percent of women with low BMI was the same for rural and urban areas. The time series data from 11 countries showed a decline in percent of women with low BMI in both urban and rural areas for most countries. Countries where the percentage of low BMI in women increased include: rural and urban areas of Kenya and Nigeria, urban areas of Côte d'Ivoire, Tanzania and Zimbabwe and rural areas of Ghana.

The following charts illustrate this:

© FAO 2010