Child Malnutrition in Pakistan: Evidence from Literature.
Pakistan has one of the highest prevalences of child malnutrition as compared to other developing countries. This narrative review was accomplished to examine the published empirical literature on children’s nutritional status in Pakistan. The objectives of this review were to know about the methodological approaches used in previous studies, to assess the overall situation of childhood malnutrition, and to identify the areas that have not yet been studied. This study was carried out to collect and synthesize the relevant data from previously published papers through different scholarly database search engines. The most relevant and current published papers between 2000(-)2016 were included in this study. The research papers that contain the data related to child malnutrition in Pakistan were assessed. A total of 28 articles was reviewed and almost similar methodologies were used in all of them. Most of the researchers conducted the cross sectional quantitative and descriptive studies, through structured interviews for identifying the causes of child malnutrition. Only one study used the mix method technique for acquiring data from the respondents. For the assessment of malnutrition among children, out of 28 papers, 20 used the World Health Organization (WHO) weight for age, age for height, and height for weight Z-score method. Early marriages, large family size, high fertility rates with a lack of birth spacing, low income, the lack of breast feeding, and exclusive breastfeeding were found to be the themes that repeatedly emerged in the reviewed literature. There is a dire need of qualitative and mixed method researches to understand and have an insight into the underlying factors of child malnutrition in Pakistan.