SOUTH ASIAN JOURNAL OF POPULATION AND HEALTH; Vol - 1, No - 2

SOCIOECONOMIC DETERMINANTS OF MALNUTRITION OF CHILDREN AGED 6-71 MONTHS IN TWO SELECTED DISTRICTS OF BANGLADESH

Written by:U. K. MAJUMDER, M. NURUL ISLAM & DNR PAUL

The current status of malnutrition among the children aged 6 - 71 months was assessed in two selected districts of Bangladesh, namely, Dinajpur (a rice surplus district) and Bagerhat (a rice deficit district). A three-stage cluster sampling technique was used for selecting the sample households for each selected district. The prevalence of malnutrition was assessed using three indicators, such as stunting, under-weight, and wasting following the WHO guidelines and cut-off points. The prevalence of stunting, under-weight and wasting of 6 - 71 months children in Dinajpur were lower than those in Bagerhat. The households of Dinajpur district are relatively richer, live comparatively better life, and the children possess better nutritional and health status as compared to Baherhat district. Age of mother and socio-economic status (SES) of the HHs has been identified as the main contributing factors for stunted children in Dinajpur district while, age of children, mother's working status and SES of HHs appear to be the major contributing factors to the stunted children in Baherhat. The factors showing significant contribution to underweight children are age of children, age of mother, family size, HH's monthly income and poverty incidences in Dinajpur and age of children, credit receiving status, monthly income from agriculture and HH's per capita monthly expenditure in Baherhat district. The contributing factors for wasted children were family size and monthly income of the HHs in Dinajpur district while, there was no significant factors found in Bagerhat.

PATTERNS OF FAMILY PLANNING BEHAVIOR IN A RURAL AREA OF BANGLADESH: A STOCHASTIC MODEL APPROACH

Written by:S. M. SHAFIQUL ISLAM & ABDUL HAMID CHOWDHURY

A stochastic model has been developed in this paper to study the patterns of family planning behavior among 1060 couples in a rural area of Bangladesh based on information collected during the period between January 2001 and December 2004. The transition probability matrix formed by considering various contraceptive methods jointly with parity levels shows that majority of couples are not likely to change their current parity levels in a short period and continue to use their current methods of contraception. It has been found that at the lower parity levels current non-contraceptors are not likely to use contraception to bear more children and oral pill users are expected to use pills to achieve desired space between births whereas the users of other temporary contraceptive methods are likely either to switch to pill in order to delay births or stop using contraceptives to attain desired family size. At higher parity levels, couples are found to have a tendency to adopt sterilization in order to limit family size at four or five children.

CONSUMPTION BEHAVIOUR AND NUTRIENT QUALITY OF FAST FOODS: DEVELOPMENT OF A HEALTHY EATING INDEX FOR BANGLADESHI

Written by:ABU TORAB M. A. RAHIM, SABRINA MOUSHUMI & NAZNIN KHAN

A survey on consumer quality perceptions, preference, and intake pattern of Western fast food and traditional snack foods (ready-to-eat foods taken traditionally in between meals) was conducted among customers of some selected commercial fast food outlets in Dhaka city. Four hundred consumers of these foods were interviewed (56.5% male, 43.5% female) with structured questionnaire. Findings showed that consumption of Western fast foods became one of the common food behaviours of the young of 15 to 19 years of age (85.5% of the respondents). The majority of the respondents (43%) rated these foods as tasty food. Soft drinks (6.2% of total citations) and burger (6% of total citations) were the two top most foods preferred. Besides snacking, 39.2% respondents combined "Biriani" with soft drinks as their lunch. The perceived role of these foods in health and disease varied widely. Seven percent of he respondents opined that these foods could cause coronary heart diseases. A healthy eating index of these foods using secondary food composition data was then constructed to guide the consumers for a healthier choice. Nutrient contents of selected foods were compared with dietary reference intake and scored on a 0-5 point scale for each of the five selected nutrient components viz., total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, dietary, fiber, and sodium. Depending on the total score, the foods were ranked as 'Safe', 'Fair', 'Caution' and 'Risky' in the context of dietary intake and risk of non-communicable diseases. Half of the foods studies were found in 'caution' category for healthy eating. The index developed may, therefore, be a useful tool for Bangladeshi urban consumers for a healthier choice of these foods.

SEX PREFERENCE AND REPRODUCTIVE BEHAVIOUR IN BANGLADESH

Written by:MD. ISLAM UDDIN & M. MAZHARUL ISLAM

This paper examines the levels and patterns of sex preference in Bangladesh by using sex composition of living children and desire for more children. The data for the study comes from the 2004 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS). The results indicate that for most Bangladeshi women, the ideal family consists of two children - one boy and one girl - with a balance sex composition. Nearly two-thirds (64.7 percent) of the respondents reported their ideal family size as 2, of which 63 percent said 1 son and 1 daughter as their preferred sex composition. However, as the ideal family size increases, the proportion of women desiring son than daughter also increases, indicating an overall son preference in Bangladesh. The average number of sons among those women who do not want next child is significantly greater than the same among women who want next child. Women's age, education, mass media exposure and region of residence appeared as the significant determinants for sex preference. For a particular parity, the contraceptive prevalence rate increases with the increase in the number of living sons irrespective of the number of living daughters. Among the currently married women with three living children, contraceptive prevalence rate is higher among those who have 2 sons or all the three are sons indicating that many women in Bangladesh want to ensure that they have had not only two or more sons, but also at least one daughter. Observed modern contraceptive use rate is found to be 19 percent less than the expected rate in absence of sex preference. If sex preference is eliminated, total fertility rate is estimated to decline by seven percent.

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROBLEMS OF MARRIED ADOLESCENT WOMEN IN RURAL BANGLADESH

Written by:ASHIM KUMAR SAHA & MD. ZILLUR RAHMAN SHABUZ

Adolescent reproductive health problem is a much publicized concern among both the developed and developing nations and recently it has become a major topic of demographic research. Considering its importance, an attempt has been made in this paper to investigate the association of morbidity during antenatal, delivery and postnatal period with several socio-economic and demographic characteristics of married adolescent women in the rural areas of Bangladesh on the basis of the data from Bangladesh Maternal Health Services and Maternal Mortality Survey (BMMS) of 2001. It has been observed that, preeclamsia is the major life threatening complication among married adolescent in the rural areas of Bangladesh during antepartum and delivery period whereas excessive bleeding is the major complication during postpartum. Adolescent women who have a small family (<5) suffered mostly from antepartum, delivery and postpartum complications than that of women who have a large family (>5). Education has the greatest influence on postpartum complications. Respondents who have higher education were not found to suffer from any type of postpartum complications except excessive bleeding and edema. The logistic regression analysis shows that number of prior pregnancy has significant influence on antepartum and delivery complications. Religion appeared as a significant predictor of complications during antepartum period. Place of delivery and assistance during delivery appeared as significant predictor for complications during delivery period and watching television appeared as significant predictors during postpartum period.

ADOLESCENT FERTILITY BEHAVIOR IN BANGLADESH

Written by: MD. GOLAM MOSTOFA, MD. MOSFEQUR RAHMAN & MD. JAHANGIR ALOM

Early marriage lengthens the reproductive span, shortens educational career and ultimately leads to high fertility in developing countries likes Bangladesh. Using Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 2004, data, the present study investigates the various issues of adolescent's fertility in Bangladesh. In this study, the target population is married adolescents of age range 10-19 years. The analysis reveals that the mean number of children ever born to the adolescent mothers is 0.67 and the average number of living children is 0.61. It also indicates that childbearing begins early in Bangladesh with a mean age at first birth for adolescent mothers of 15.65 years. Age at marriage, education, membership of NGOs appear as the most important factor determining the mean number of children ever born among adolescents. It is also indicated from the study that 2 children would be preferable among adolescents (72.0%) as the ideal number of children in their family. The study shows that 49.8 percent adolescents wives do not discuss with their husband the number of children they desire. Children ever born, place of residence, respondents' education and current age appear as the significant factors for discussing with husband the number of children they desire.

INTEGRATION OF POPULATION, RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO BANGLADESH

Written by:MD. ISMAIL TAREQUE & MD. MOSTAFIZUR RAHMAN

Attempts have been made in this study to investigate the situation of population, resources, environment and development in global and country level (Bangladesh). This study is based on the secondary data and obtained from Global Environment Outlook (GEO) data - 2002, prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). On the basis of environmental conditions measuring by an index of Environmental Impact (IEI), United States (US) comes to the top of IEI ranking. To investigate the causal links among the variables (population, resources, environment and development), a path model analysis is used. The study reveals that, for the world, total effect of population on environmental impact is 0.260, of which about 40% is transmitted through the environmental hazard and about 32% is transmitted through its implied effect in the same direction then about 27% through the resource in the opposite direction. The analysis also found that environmental impact is increased at global level and in Europe when environmental hazard is high. In Asia, Africa and United States, when resource consumption takes place at a high rate, environmental impact is increased. Finally, the study examines an ARIMA model and exponential smoothing formula from the series of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Bangladesh during the period of 1972 to 1998 and forecasts that the CO2 emission lie in a constant level but the GDP is increasing up to 2010.

MENSTRUAL PRACTICES AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROBLEMS AMONG ADOLESCENT GIRLS IN RURAL BANGLADESH

Written by:MD. JASHIM UDDIN & ABDUL MANNAN CHOUDHURY

The paper examines the issues related to menstrual practices among rural Bangladeshi adolescent girls and assesses the association menstrual practices with complications and reproductive health morbidity. This was a community based, cross sectional and descriptive study with combination of both quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques. Both bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the association of practice during menstruation and self-reported morbidity from STDs. Forty two percent of girls interviewed practiced harmful measures during menstruation. Only one fifth of the girls knew of any symptoms of STDs and 22% of them reported some symptoms. Although not statistically significant, the study found a relationship between harmful practices during menstruation and self reported morbidity from STDs among adolescent girls. The paper makes a case that ignorance, false perceptions and harmful practices during menstruation prevail in rural Bangladesh and have implications for adolescent reproductive health.