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Gender Differences in Nutritional Status and Feeding Patterns among Infants in the Gaza Strip

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Schoenbaum, Michael, Theodore H. Tulchinsky, and Yehia Abed. 1995. "Gender Differences in Nutritional Status and Feeding Patterns among Infants in the Gaza Strip." American Journal of Public Health, 85(7): 965-69.

This study examines gender variation in nutritional treatment and anthropometric status of infants in the Gaza Strip. Numerous studies have documented gender differences in health status in developing areas, generally finding boys to be at an advantage over girls. Social and economic characteristics in Gaza suggest that one might expect preferential treatment of boys there. The study used data on two samples of infants 0 to 18 months of age collected from five health centers in Gaza. A variety of different analytic methods were used to look for gender differences in feeding patterns, prevalence of malnutrition, and anthropometric status.

Although some differences in nutritional treatment and anthropometric outcome for infants of different socioeconomic status and between the earlier and later samples were found, no consistent gender differences were revealed. The findings are consistent with several different explanations. First, expectations of finding gender differences may have been unfounded. Alternatively, such differences may have existed previously but have been eliminated through successful public health intervention, rising levels of education, and economic development.

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