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Care and nutrition


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  • Engle, Patrice L.
  • Menon, Purnima
  • Haddad, Lawrence James


Care is the provision in the household and the community of time, attention and support to meet the physical, mental, and social needs of the growing child and other household members (ICN 1992). This provision of time, attention, and support is manifest in certain types of behaviors exhibited by caregivers (typically women ): (1) care for pregnant and lactating women, such as providing appropriate rest time or increased food intake; (2) breast-feeding and feeding of very young children; (3) psychosocial stimulation of children and support for their development; (4) food preparation and food storage behaviors; (5) hygiene behaviors; and (6) care for children during illness, including diagnosis of illness and health-seeking behaviors (Engle 1992). Provision of these behaviors depends on the availability of the resources for care at the household level: education and knowledge, health of the caregiver, time, autonomy, and social support. Although many researchers over the past 30 years have emphasized the importance of behavioral factors for adequate child growth in conditions of poverty and food constraints (Sims, Paolucci, and Morris 1972), the linkages between food availability, caregiving behaviors, and child nutrition are now being recognized at a policy level (ICN 1992). The conceptual model underlying the role of care in child nutrition has been applied more frequently over the past 10 years (UNICEF 1990). This paper will review new conceptual developments and the implications for the measurement and monitoring of care resources and care behaviors. Section 2 reviews the evolution of the original care conceptual model. Sections 3 and 4 review the development of indicators for care resources and care behaviors, respectively. Section 5 concludes with suggestions for further research.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series FCND discussion papers with number 18.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:18

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Keywords: Child care. ; Child Feeding. ; Food availability. ; households ; Nutrition ;


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Cited by:
  1. Beatrice Lorge Rogers & James Wirth & Kathy Macías & Parke Wilde, 2007. "Mapping Hunder in Panama: A Report on Mapping Malnutrition Prevalence," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 35, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
  2. Ruel, Marie T. & Armar-Klemesu, Margaret & Arimond, Mary, 2001. "A multiple-method approach to studying childcare in an urban environment," FCND briefs 116, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Beatrice Lorge Rogers & James Wirth & Kathy Macías & Parke Wilde, 2007. "Mapping Hunder: A Report on Mapping Malnutrition Prevalence in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Panama," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 34, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
  4. Yusuke Kamiya, 2009. "Economic analysis on the socioeconomic determinants of child malnutrition in Lao PDR," OSIPP Discussion Paper 09E007, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
  5. Smith, Lisa C. & Haddad, Lawrence James, 1999. "Explaining child malnutrition in developing countries," FCND discussion papers 60, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Bhagowalia, Priya & Gupta, Parul, 2011. "Nutritional status and access to clean fuels: Evidence from South Asia," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103728, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  7. Haddad, Lawrence James & Peña, Christine & Nishida, Chizuru & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Slack, Alison T., 1996. "Food security and nutrition implications of intrahousehold bias," FCND discussion papers 19, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Beatrice Lorge Rogers & James Wirth & Kathy Macías & Parke Wilde, 2007. "Mapping Hunger in Ecuador: A Report on Mapping Malnutrition Prevalence," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 9602, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
  9. Smith, Lisa C. & Ruel, Marie T. & Ndiaye, Aida, 2004. "Why is child malnutrition lower in urban than rural areas?," FCND discussion papers 176, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Engle, Patrice L. & Menon, Purnima & Garrett, James L. & Slack, Alison T., 1997. "Developing a research and action agenda for examining urbanization and caregiving," FCND discussion papers 28, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. Wise, Victoria, 2004. "Situation Nutritionnelles des jeunes enfants au Rwanda: Une analyse de données anthropométriques collectées par l'Enquête sur les Conditions de Vie des Ménages 1999-2001," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 55379, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  12. Ruel, Marie T. & Menon, Purnima, 2002. "Creating a child feeding index using the demographic and health surveys," FCND briefs 130, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  13. Ruel, Marie T. & Haddad, Lawrence James & Garrett, James L., 1999. "Some urban facts of life," FCND discussion papers 64, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).


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