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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2016, Article ID 4654920, 11 pages
Research Article

Relationships between Wasting and Stunting and Their Concurrent Occurrence in Ghanaian Preschool Children

1Department of Community Nutrition, School of Allied Health Sciences, University for Development Studies, P.O. Box TL 1883, Tamale, Ghana
2Department of Social, Political and Historical Studies, Faculty of Integrated Development Studies, University for Development Studies, P.O. Box 520, Wa, Ghana

Received 13 February 2016; Revised 2 May 2016; Accepted 15 May 2016

Academic Editor: Christel Lamberg-Allardt

Copyright © 2016 Mahama Saaka and Sylvester Zackaria Galaa. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The main aim of the study was to assess the magnitude of concurrent wasting and stunting among Ghanaian preschool children. Secondly, we investigated the relationship between wasting and stunting as well as factors associated with these conditions. Methods. This paper is based on reanalysis of anthropometric and other relevant data which was collected in the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. The data set consisted of 2,720 preschool children aged 0–59 months. We conducted three-step moderated hierarchical multiple regression analyses to determine independent predictors and moderators of height-for-age -score. Results. Nationally, the prevalence of concurrent wasting and stunting among children aged 0–59 months was low at 1.4% but it varied geographically with the Upper East Region having the highest prevalence of 3.2% (95% CI: 1.7–5.8). Children who had low weight-for-height -scores were at a higher risk of linear growth retardation (stunting) especially among children aged less than three years. A 1-unit increase in weight-for-height -score (WHZ) was associated with 0.07 standard units’ increase in height-for-age -score (HAZ) [β = 0.071 (95% CI: 0.03, 0.15)]. Conclusions. The study results suggest that weight-for-height relates to linear growth but this relationship is moderated by age of child. Stunting and wasting share some common risk factors. Therefore, measures to prevent wasting may positively influence linear growth.