IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does living in slums or non-slums influence women's nutritional status? Evidence from Indian mega-cities


  • Gaur, Kirti
  • Keshri, Kunal
  • Joe, William


This article examines the intra-city distribution of women's nutritional status across eight Indian mega-cities with a specific focus on slum–non-slum divide. The analysis is based on the National Family Health Survey (2005–06) of India and highlights the dual burden of malnutrition among urban women. The results show that one in every two women in mega-cities is malnourished (either undernourished or overnourished), but a biased, analytical focus on citywide averages conceals the nature of the problem. Overnutrition among women is notably higher in non-slum areas whereas underweight persists as a key concern among slum dwellers. Cities located in the Central India (Nagpur and Indore) have the highest proportion of underweight women whereas the cities in South India (Chennai and Hyderabad) show a high prevalence of overweight women across both slum and non-slum areas. The intensity of income-related inequalities in underweight outcome is much greater for non-slum areas, whereas inequalities in overweight outcomes are higher among slums. Furthermore, regression analysis indicates that place of residence as such has no significant impact on women's nutritional status and that this elementary association is primarily a ramification mediated through other key socioeconomic correlates. Results suggest that, it would be rational to develop a comprehensive urban nutritional plan that focuses on dietary planning and behaviour change to address both type of malnutrition at the same time.

Suggested Citation

  • Gaur, Kirti & Keshri, Kunal & Joe, William, 2013. "Does living in slums or non-slums influence women's nutritional status? Evidence from Indian mega-cities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 137-146.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:77:y:2013:i:c:p:137-146
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.11.017

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert, Stephanie A. & Reither, Eric N., 2004. "A multilevel analysis of race, community disadvantage, and body mass index among adults in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(12), pages 2421-2434, December.
    2. Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
    3. Harrington, Daniel W. & Elliott, Susan J., 2009. "Weighing the importance of neighbourhood: A multilevel exploration of the determinants of overweight and obesity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 593-600, February.
    4. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 2001. "Estimating Wealth Effects Without Expenditure Data—Or Tears: An Application To Educational Enrollments In States Of India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 115-132, February.
    5. Cohen, Deborah A. & Finch, Brian K. & Bower, Aimee & Sastry, Narayan, 2006. "Collective efficacy and obesity: The potential influence of social factors on health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 769-778, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:socmed:v:185:y:2017:i:c:p:91-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kala Seetharam Sridhar & A.Venugopala Reddy, 2014. "Contribution of the urban poor: evidence from Chennai, India," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 21(2), pages 53-76, December.
    3. Laura B. Nolan, 2015. "Slum Definitions in Urban India: Implications for the Measurement of Health Inequalities," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 41(1), pages 59-84, March.
    4. Sengupta, Angan & Angeli, Federica & Syamala, Thelakkat S. & Dagnelie, Pieter C. & Schayck, C.P. van, 2015. "Overweight and obesity prevalence among Indian women by place of residence and socio-economic status: Contrasting patterns from ‘underweight states’ and ‘overweight states’ of India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 161-169.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:77:y:2013:i:c:p:137-146. See general 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.