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Open AccessArticle

Are Household Expenditures on Food Groups Associated with Children’s Future Heights in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam?

1
Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT 06510, USA
2
IMA World Health, Washington, DC 20036, USA
3
Department of Public Health, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA
4
Instituto de Investigación Nutricional, La Molina 15024, Peru
5
Departments of Economics and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current affiliation: CVS Health, Northbrook, IL 60062, USA.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134739
Received: 12 May 2020 / Revised: 16 June 2020 / Accepted: 24 June 2020 / Published: 1 July 2020
Household expenditure surveys, routinely conducted in low—and middle-income countries (LMICs), usually include questions pertaining to recent household expenditures on key food groups. When child anthropometrics are also available, such expenditure data can provide insights into household food purchasing patterns that are associated with subsequent child growth measures. We used data from 6993 children, born around 2001, from Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam, from the Young Lives younger cohort. We compared associations between two weeks of household food expenditures (in PPP—Purchasing Power Parity adjusted dollars) on food groups and child height-for-age-Z score (HAZ) at subsequent time points to assess longitudinal associations. Total food expenditures, rural/urban residence, maternal and paternal schooling, and child sex were included in our adjusted models because they may affect the relations between household food group expenditures and future child HAZ. In Ethiopia, India, and Peru every extra PPP$ spent on fats was associated with 0.02–0.07 higher future HAZ. In Vietnam every extra PPP$ spent on starches, was significantly associated with a 0.01 lower future HAZ. Across countries, different patterns of food expenditure and procurement may be differentially critical for predicting child HAZ. Our results demonstrate how expenditures on specific food groups can be associated with children’s linear growth. This study provides additional evidence of the utility of longitudinal household food expenditure data in understanding child nutritional status. View Full-Text
Keywords: household food group expenditures; height for age z-score (HAZ); longitudinal cohort study; food groups; expenditures on fats; Young Lives data household food group expenditures; height for age z-score (HAZ); longitudinal cohort study; food groups; expenditures on fats; Young Lives data
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Weingarten, S.E.; Dearden, K.A.; Crookston, B.T.; Penny, M.E.; Behrman, J.R.; Humphries, D.L. Are Household Expenditures on Food Groups Associated with Children’s Future Heights in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4739.

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