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Food security and stunting in children under five in the developing world

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Over the past decades, the concept of food security has evolved. The recent concept focuses on three pillars: food availability, food access and food use & utilization. This study used this broader definition of food security to identify the predictors of stunting among children in the developing world. Two stepwise regression models were run with national prevalence of stunting in children under 5 as the main outcome variable and 18 food security indicators as potential independent variables. The EM method was used to impute the missing values for the countries lacking data for the indicators. The models were also cross-validated. The models explained more than 67 % of the variance of stunting in the developing world. In both the models, the predictors of stunting were from all the three pillars of food security. This study highlights the importance of addressing all the pillars of food security to understand and tackle the stunting among children.
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