Household cereal crop harvest and children's nutritional status in rural Burkina Faso.

Belesova, K; Gasparrini, A; Sié, A; Sauerborn, R; Wilkinson, P; (2017) Household cereal crop harvest and children's nutritional status in rural Burkina Faso. Environ Health, 16 (1). p. 65. ISSN 1476-069X DOI:

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Reduction of child undernutrition is one of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Achievement of this goal may be made more difficult in some settings by climate change through adverse impact on agricultural productivity. However, there is only limited quantitative evidence on the link between household crop harvests and child nutrition. We examined this link in a largely subsistence farming population in rural Burkina Faso. Data on the middle-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of 975 children ≤5 years of age, household crop yields, and other parameters were obtained from the Nouna Health and Demographic Surveillance System. Multilevel modelling was used to assess the relationship between MUAC and the household crop harvest in the year 2009 estimated in terms of kilocalories per adult equivalent per day (kcal/ae/d). Fourteen percent of children had a MUAC <125 mm (a value indicative of acute undernutrition). The relationship between MUAC and annual household food energy production adjusted for age, sex, month of MUAC measurement, household wealth, whether a household member had a non-agricultural occupation, garden produce, village infrastructure and market presence, suggested a decline in MUAC below around 3000 kcal/ae/d. The mean MUAC was 2.49 (95% CI 0.45, 4.52) mm less at 1000 than at 3000 kcal/ae/d. Low per capita household crop production is associated with poorer nutritional status of children in a rural farming population in Burkina Faso. This and similar populations may thus be vulnerable to the adverse effects of weather on agricultural harvest, especially in the context of climate change.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 28633653
Web of Science ID: 403641300001


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