Dietary and Environmental Mediators of Socio-Economic Inequalities in Child Undernutrition in West Africa
Adeladza Kofi Amegah of the University of Cape Coast in Ghana will investigate how diet, the environment and low birth weight lead to child undernutrition in socially-disadvantaged communities in West Africa. Studies have shown strong associations between socio-economic status and child undernutrition, but they have not identified the actual causes, which is critical for developing effective interventions. They will evaluate potentially causative dietary factors such as meal diversity and frequency, and environmental factors including water, sanitation, and hygiene practices, along with birth weight. They will analyze four demographic and health survey (DHS) datasets from the last twenty years that include birth weight, infant height and weight, wealth status, and education attainment. They will use various modeling approaches and statistical analyses to identify the associations between the different parameters, and a sequential causal mediation analysis to establish the role of specific factors, and combinations of those factors, on undernutrition.