Mother's working status and nutritional status of children under the age of 5 in urban low-income community, Surabaya, Indonesia

J Trop Pediatr. 2001 Jun;47(3):179-81. doi: 10.1093/tropej/47.3.179.


A cross-sectional anthropometrics survey was carried out in a low-income community of Surabaya, Indonesia, to examine the association between mother's employment and the child's nutritional status for identifying a group at risk of having malnourished children. Subjects were 274 children under the age of 5. The children of non-working mothers had significantly higher height-for-age z-score (HAZ) (p < 0.05) than those of working mothers. When mother's work was divided into 'formal' and 'informal', HAZ and weight-for-age z-score (WAZ) of children of the informal worker's group were significantly lower than those of the non-working mother and the formal worker's group (p < 0.05). Mother's education and income of the formal worker's group were significantly higher than those of the informal worker's group (p < 0.01). Our study identified a group at risk of malnutrition, i.e., children of mothers working in informal sectors. The programs to provide childcare for working mothers should target this particular group of poor households.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry*
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indonesia
  • Infant
  • Mothers*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Urban Population*