Examining determinants of stunting in Urban and Rural Indonesian: a multilevel analysis using the population-based Indonesian family life survey (IFLS)

Issara Siramaneerat, Erni Astutik, Farid Agushybana, Pimnapat Bhumkittipich, Wanjai Lamprom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In Indonesia, chronic malnutrition leading to stunted growth in children represents a significant issue within the public health domain. The prevalence of stunting varies between urban and rural areas, reflecting disparities in access to nutrition, healthcare, and other socioeconomic factors. Understanding these disparities is crucial for developing targeted interventions to address the issue. Methods: The study used data from the fifth wave of the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS), which is a national cross-sectional population-based survey conducted across approximately 13 provinces in Indonesia in 2014–2015. Multivariate and Multilevel logistic regression models were utilized in the analysis to determine the factors associated with the prevalence of stunting in Indonesian children. Results: The multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that among children aged 24–59 months in Indonesia, stunting was associated with the age of the child, birth weight, maternal nutritional status, and residence. Subsequently, the multilevel logistic regression analysis revealed that in rural areas, the age of the child and birth weight exhibited significant associations with stunting. Conversely, in urban areas, stunted children were influenced by 7 factors, including the child’s age (months), age of weaning, birth weight (kg), mother and father’s age, place of birth, and maternal nutritional status. Conclusions: Variations in childhood stunting between urban and rural regions in Indonesia were observed, indicating a differential prevalence. The study’s findings suggests the importance of age-appropriate nutritional support, healthcare interventions, and growth monitoring. Focused interventions are vital, potentially encompassing initiatives such as improving access to maternal and child healthcare services, promoting adequate nutrition during pregnancy and infancy, and facilitate greater parental engagement in childcare responsibilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1371
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024


  • IFLS
  • Indonesia
  • Malnutrition
  • Stunting
  • Undernutrition


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