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Impact of COVID-19 on child malnutrition, obesity in women and household food insecurity in underserved urban settlements in Sri Lanka: A prospective follow-up study

Public Health Nutrition Jayatissa, R., Herath H. P., Perera, A. G., Dayaratne, T. T., De Alwis, N. D., Nanayakkara, H. P. 2021-4-27
Article on the changes and factors associated with child malnutrition, obesity in women, and household food insecurity before and after the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka. This was a prospective follow-up study conducted in 2019 in 603 households, which were selected randomly from 30 clusters to represent underserved urban settlements in Colombo. In the present follow-up study, 35% of households from the UHNS-2019 cohort (207 households, comprising 127 women and 109 children) were randomly selected for repeat interviews, 1 year after the baseline study and 6 months after COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka. Height/length and weight of children and women were re-measured, household food insecurity was reassessed, and associated factors were gathered through interviewer-administered questionnaires. Differences in measurements at baseline and follow-up studies were compared. The study used a prospective follow-up design including 603 households at baseline (2019), which were selected randomly from 30 clusters to represent underserved urban settlements in Colombo. The current prevalence of children with wasting and overweight was higher in the follow-up study than at baseline UHNS-2019 (18.3 % v. 13.7 %; P = 0.26 and 8.3 % v. 3.7 %; P = 0.12, respectively). There was a decrease in prevalence of child stunting (14.7 % v. 11.9 %; P = 0.37). A change was not observed in overall obesity in women, which was about 30.7 %. Repeated lockdown was associated with a significant reduction in food security from 57% in UHNS-2019 to 30 % in the current study (P < 0·001). There was an increase in wasting and overweight among children while women had a persistent high prevalence of obesity. This population needs suitable interventions to improve nutrition status of children and women to minimise susceptibility to COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Women and/or Girls
  • Asia
  • South Asia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)
  • Adult men
  • Adult women
  • Adults (men and/or women 19+ years old)
  • Children (boys and/or girls 1-10 years old)
  • Children <5 years old
  • Households
  • Men (adults and/or adolescents)
  • Women (adults and/or adolescents)
  • Research
  • Article
  • Case study
  • Journal article

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