Data

Year of publication

2019

Type

Mixed-Method

Design

Cross-sectional

Classification

Other (non stated)

Country studied

Nepal

Data

Primary

Data Collected

Survey

Study setting

Clinic (health camps)

Age group of participant

Children/6 months-6 years

Participant sex

Mixed

Target population

Vulnerable (low-income households)

Sample size

n= 836 (participants)

Early Childhood Oral Health and Nutrition in Urban and Rural Nepal

Goal

Examine socio-behavioral risk factors for ECC in rural and urban populations and associations between caries and malnutrition in Nepali children to help guide interventions to improve children’s health and wellbeing.

Results

Most families lived within a 5-minute walk to a store selling ultra-processed snacks and sugary drinks. While most mothers knew sweets caused tooth decay, half of the children were given sweets daily, and 58.2% of children had dental caries. Caries began in the first 2 years and increased in prevalence and severity to age 6, when 74.3% had caries and 20% experienced mouth pain. Despite greater health knowledge and resources among urban mothers, urban children’s increased access to junk food and frequency of consumption was associated with higher prevalence and severity of caries compared to rural children. Severe caries was associated with malnutrition, especially in rural children. Preventive strategies are needed in early childhood to incorporate nutrition and oral health education and dental care into maternal–child health services, and develop policies to prohibit the sale of junk food around schools.

Authors

Tsang C, Sokal-Gutierrez K, Patel P, et al.

Journal

Int J Environ Res Public Health

DOI