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Open AccessArticle

Is Infant/Toddler Anemia a Problem across Rural China? A Mixed-Methods Analysis

1
International Business School, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710069, Shaanxi, China
2
Center for Experimental Economics of Education, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710069, Shaanxi, China
3
Rural Education Action Project, Stanford University, Stanford 94305, CA, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1825; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091825
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 19 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
In the past, iron-deficiency anemia in children has had a widespread presence in rural China. Given the recent economic growth in China, it is unclear if anemia among infants/toddlers remains a problem. The objective of this study is to measure the anemia rate in rural Chinese infants/toddlers across four major subpopulations and attempt to discover the sources of anemia. We use a mixed-methods approach combining quantitative data on 2909 rural Chinese infants/toddlers and their families with qualitative interviews with 84 caregivers of infants aged 6 to 30 months. Quantitative analysis indicates that the overall prevalence of anemia (43%) within sampled infants/toddlers was high, especially in comparison to the low rates of stunting (2–5%), being underweight (2%), and wasting (2–4%). These findings suggest that in rural China, anemia stems from the poor quality of the diets of infants/toddlers, rather than insufficient quantities of food being consumed. Qualitative analysis illustrates the factors that are contributing to anemia. Caregivers do not understand the causes of this condition, the symptoms that would lead one to recognize this condition, or the steps needed to treat their child with this condition. The findings offer a comprehensive understanding of the limited awareness of anemia among rural Chinese caregivers. View Full-Text
Keywords: infants/toddlers; anemia; rural China; mixed-methods infants/toddlers; anemia; rural China; mixed-methods
MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, L.; Sun, Y.; Liu, B.; Zheng, L.; Li, M.; Bai, Y.; Osborn, A.; Lee, M.; Rozelle, S. Is Infant/Toddler Anemia a Problem across Rural China? A Mixed-Methods Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1825.

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