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Age-Specific Determinants of Stunting in Filipino Children


Adair, Linda S. & Guilkey, David K. (1997). Age-Specific Determinants of Stunting in Filipino Children. Journal of Nutrition, 127(2), 314-320.


This study identifies age-specific factors related to new cases of stunting that develop in Filipino children from birth to 24 mo of age. Data come from nearly 3000 participants in the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey, a community-based study conducted from 1983 to 1995. Length, morbidity, feeding and health-related data were collected bimonthly during home visits. Stunting (length >2 SD below the WHO age- and sex-specific medians) occurred in 69% of rural and 60% of urban children by 24 mo of age. We used a multivariate discrete time hazard model to estimate the likelihood of becoming stunted in each 2-mo interval. The likelihood of stunting was significantly increased by diarrhea, febrile respiratory infections, early supplemental feeding and low birth weight. The effect of birth weight was strongest in the first year. Breast-feeding, preventive health care and taller maternal stature significantly decreased the likelihood of stunting. Males were more likely to become stunted in the first year, whereas females were more likely to become stunted in the second year of life. Because stunting is strongly related to poor functional outcomes such as impaired intellectual development during childhood, and to short stature in adulthood, these results emphasize the need for prevention of growth retardation through promotion of prenatal care and breast-feeding, as well as control of infectious diseases.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Nutrition


Adair, Linda S.
Guilkey, David K.