Adult Undernutrition in Rural Post-conflict Northern Uganda

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Abstract

This chapter outlines the prevalence and high-risk groups for adult undernutrition and discusses the social, behavioral, and structural mechanisms that can lead to food insecurity and undernutrition in a post-conflict setting like northern Uganda.
In summary, adult undernutrition is higher in the post-conflict area of Uganda
compared to areas that did not experience the war. Undernutrition varies by
gender and age groups, higher among men than women, with young men and
elderly being most likely to be underweight. Social and behavioral risk factors for
undernutrition specific to post-conflict areas, such as substance use, and disruption of traditional values and norms will be discussed. The high prevalence of undernutrition among men may be a result of a “syndemic” interaction between mental illness, HIV, substance abuse, and undernutrition itself, which further interacts with the social and structural conditions such as gender inequality, stigma, stress, feelings of disempowerment and shame, poverty, and limited access to health care. Focusing on conventional target groups in health interventions and failure to adapt to the local context may have contributed to disruption of existing family and social structures and created other risk groups for undernutrition
that are not targeted.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Famine, Starvation, and Nutrient Deprivation : From Biology to Policy
EditorsVictor Preedy, Vinood B. Patel
PublisherSpringer Publishing Company
Publication date2017
Pages1-22
ISBN (Print)9783319400075
ISBN (Electronic)9783319400075
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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