Poverty and childhood undernutrition in developing countries: A multi-national cohort study
AbstractThe importance of reducing childhood undernutrition has been enshrined in the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. This study explores the relationship between alternative indicators of poverty and childhood undernutrition in developing countries within the context of a multi-national cohort study (Young Lives). Approximately 2000 children in each of four countries - Ethiopia, India (Andhra Pradesh), Peru and Vietnam - had their heights measured and were weighed when they were aged between 6 and 17 months (survey one) and again between 4.5 and 5.5 years (survey two). The anthropometric outcomes of stunted, underweight and wasted were calculated using World Health Organization 2006 reference standards. Maximum-likelihood probit estimation was employed to model the relationship within each country and survey between alternative measures of living standards (principally a wealth index developed using principal components analysis) and each anthropometric outcome. An extensive set of covariates was incorporated into the models to remove as much individual heterogeneity as possible. The fully adjusted models revealed a negative and statistically significant coefficient on wealth for all outcomes in all countries, with the exception of the outcome of wasted in India (Andhra Pradesh) and Vietnam (survey one) and the outcome of underweight in Vietnam (surveys one and two). In survey one, the partial effects of wealth on the probabilities of stunting, being underweight and wasting was to reduce them by between 1.4 and 5.1 percentage points, 1.0 and 6.4 percentage points, and 0.3 and 4.5 percentage points, respectively, with each unit (10%) increase in wealth. The partial effects of wealth on the probabilities of anthropometric outcomes were larger in the survey two models. In both surveys, children residing in the lowest wealth quintile households had significantly increased probabilities of being stunted in all four study countries and of being underweight in Ethiopia, India (Andhra Pradesh) and Peru in comparison to children residing in the highest wealth quintile households. Random effects probit models confirmed the statistical significance of increased wealth in reducing the probability of being stunted and underweight across all four study countries. We conclude that, although multi-faceted, childhood undernutrition in developing countries is strongly rooted in poverty.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.
Volume (Year): 71 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7 (October)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wendy Shamier).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.