Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science



Collaborative Specialization

Global Health Systems in Africa


Creed, Irena F

2nd Supervisor

Stranges, Saverio


3rd Supervisor

Luginaah, Isaac


Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are experiencing the double burden of malnutrition (under- and over-nutrition) due to an on-going nutrition transition. Little research exists that explores the underlying causes of this double burden phenomenon within and across countries in SSA. This study examined potential causes among women in 34 countries, with an objective of identifying malnutrition groups and determining the key drivers of women nutritional status. Cross country analyses showed that fertility rate and gross domestic product were key drivers of nutrition transition. Within country analyses showed that age, wealth and parity were key drivers of women’s nutritional status. Parity was a risk factor for underweight in underweight burdened countries, and a risk factor for overweight in overweight and obese burdened countries. Based on the findings, the study suggests that policy makers and public health practitioners should consider linking nutritional programs with reproductive health services.

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