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Why are boys so small? Child growth, diet and gender near Ranomafana, Madagascar

Dietary and anthropometric data are analyzed by age, sex and household demographic structure for cultivators' children near Ranomafana National Park in the southeastern rain forest of Madagascar. The 1989 dry season cross-sectional survey of 613 0–9 year olds in seven communities identifies chronic dietary and growth deficits. In the 1989 sample, 62.2% of the children are below −2 s.d. height/age, while 9.4% are below −2 s.d. weight/height of the NCHS international standard. The 1990–1991 dry and wet season study of 40 and 39 6–9 year olds and their households in two adjacent hamlets provides further detail about intrahousehold dietary practices. Overall, weight/height status is worse during the wet season. Male anthropometric status is worse than that of females during the dry season, but shows less seasonal variation. The male dietary intake is similar to or sometimes less adequate than female dietary intake in the different age cohorts. Data are also analyzed by single- and multiple-parent households where children make different contributions to the socioeconomic needs. Older girls in single-parent households have increased workloads and dietary intake compared with their siblings or age-mates. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Science & Medicine Elsevier

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