The association between agricultural conditions and multiple dimensions of undernutrition in children 6-23 months of age in Burkina Faso

Jessie Pinchoff, William Turner, Kathryn Grace

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5 Scopus citations


Background. The quality and quantity of food available to children affect their nutritional status, with implications for long-term health and development. In Burkina Faso, households rely on rainfed agriculture, but climate change is making crop production unreliable. We explore spatial patterns of growing season quality on dimensions of nutritional status and complementary feeding practices in children 6-23 months. Methods. The 2017 Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) nutritional survey was spatially integrated with a contemporaneous remotely sensed drought indicator, the Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI), which captures local anomalous growing season conditions. Multi-level mixed-effects logistic regression models were estimated to explore the effects of WRSI on child mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) score (indicating malnutrition), and two components of complementary feeding practices, adjusting for demographic and household characteristics. Results. The data set included 1,721 children. Higher WRSI values (better agricultural conditions and crop performance) were associated with 3% lower odds of malnutrition (Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.971; 95% confidence interval (CI): [0.942, 1.00]) and 7% higher odds of a child attaining minimum dietary diversity (OR = 1.07; 95% CI: [1.01, 1.14]). Undernourished mothers were significantly (p < 0.001) more likely to have an undernourished child. Minimum dietary diversity met for the child was protective against malnutrition; the association between WRSI and malnutrition persisted after adjustment. Conclusions. WRSI was associated with the child's dietary diversity and malnutrition, highlighting the importance of seasonally and spatially varying local agricultural production and the relationship between growing season conditions and child nutritional status, with dietary diversity providing a potential mechanism for intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number065004
JournalEnvironmental Research Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the Climate Hazards Center’s technical editor, Juliet Way-Henthorne, for providing professional editing. The authors would also like to thank Greg Husak, Devon Kristiansen, and Leanne Dougherty for their technical expertise and input in the development of this analysis. Grace acknowledges support from the Minnesota Population Center (P2CHD041023) funded through a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Grace also acknowledges support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The findings and conclusions contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd


  • Crop production
  • Dietary diversity
  • Nutrition
  • Remote sensing
  • Sahel


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