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Trends in malnutrition among children in India: Growing inequalities across different economic groups

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  • Pathak, Praveen Kumar
  • Singh, Abhishek

Abstract

This paper examines the trends and patterns of economic inequalities with respect to child malnutrition by wealth status of population across major regions and states of India. Data from three rounds of National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) conducted during 1992-2006 were analyzed. The proportion of underweight children (measure of both acute and chronic malnutrition) has been used as a dependent variable. The wealth index is used as proxy for economic status of the population, and was estimated through principal component analysis by employing a set of variables representing durable asset ownership, access to utilities and infrastructure, and housing characteristics of respondents for all the three survey rounds. Bivariate analyses, poor-rich ratio and concentration indices were used to understand the trends in economic inequalities with respect to child malnutrition. Pooled logistic regression models were fitted to estimate the adjusted effect of economic status on the likelihood of child malnutrition over time. Results indicate sluggish change coupled with concomitant rise in economic inequalities with respect to child malnutrition in India during 1992-2006. The burden of malnutrition was disproportionately concentrated among poor children. In addition, average decline in malnutrition concealed large economic disparities across space and time.

Suggested Citation

  • Pathak, Praveen Kumar & Singh, Abhishek, 2011. "Trends in malnutrition among children in India: Growing inequalities across different economic groups," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(4), pages 576-585, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:4:p:576-585
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    Cited by:

    1. Maitra, Pushkar & Rammohan, Anu & Ray, Ranjan & Robitaille, Marie-Claire, 2013. "Food consumption patterns and malnourished Indian children: Is there a link?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 70-81.
    2. Sowmya Dhanaraj, 2015. "Determinants of Child Health: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 2015-136, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    3. Chalasani, Satvika, 2012. "Understanding wealth-based inequalities in child health in India: A decomposition approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2160-2169.
    4. Masiero, Silvia, 2015. "Redesigning the Indian Food Security System through E-Governance: The Case of Kerala," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 126-137.
    5. repec:spr:chinre:v:11:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s12187-017-9447-x is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Nie, Peng & Rammohan, Anu & Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2016. "Developments in Undernutrition in Indian Children Under Five: A Decompositional Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 9893, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Mohamed Amara & Hatem Jemmali, 2017. "On the Decomposition and Dynamics of Inequality of Opportunities: A Special Focus on Early Childhood Health and Nutrition in Tunisia," Working Papers 1093, Economic Research Forum, revised 05 Nov 2017.
    8. Ashish Singh, 2015. "Gender based within-household inequality in immunization status of children: some evidence from South Asian countries," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(2), pages 911-923.

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