Examining the relationship between socioeconomic status and the double burden of maternal over and child under-nutrition in Bangladesh



There is little research on the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and the familial co-existence of maternal over and child under-nutrition (MOCU). Most of these studies conducted in the Latin American countries. Therefore, we intended to further this important area of query by exploring the relationship between SES and the dual burden of MOCU in Bangladesh.


We used data from the 2014 Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey (BDHS). The analyses were based on the responses of 5687 mother–child pairs. We focused standard of living (hereafter referred to as wealth) as a measure of SES. We determined MOCU if there were an undernourished child and an overweight mother in the same household.


Maternal overweight and MOCU prevalence is higher among the wealthier segment whereas prevalence of child under-nutrition is higher among the poorest segment of the households. The relative risk of a household having MOCU increased by the factors of 2.84 (confidence interval (CI) = 1.58–5.12) among households with richest bands of wealth compared to the poorest category. Household from the medium (Relative risk ratio (RRR) = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.07–3.28) and richer SES groups (RRR = 2.56, 95% CI = 1.39–4.69) had increased chance for MOCU as compared to the household from poorest SES group.


As opposed to findings from other Latin American countries, the prevalence of MOCU in Bangladesh is higher in the wealthiest households. Findings of our study therefore suggest that overweight prevention programs in wealthier households of Bangladesh need to think out the possibility that their focus households may also include underweight persons.

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We are thankful to the MEASURE DHS for serving us with the 2014 BDHS data set.

Authors contributions

M.R. conceived the study and committed to statistical analysis, and wrote the manuscript. K.S. and S.H.E. contributed to reviewing of the article.

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Correspondence to Mosiur Rahman.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Hauqe, S.E., Sakisaka, K. & Rahman, M. Examining the relationship between socioeconomic status and the double burden of maternal over and child under-nutrition in Bangladesh. Eur J Clin Nutr 73, 531–540 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-018-0162-6

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