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Determinants of Food Consumption During Pregnancy in Rural Bangladesh: Examination of Evaluative Data from the Bangladesh Integrated Nutrition Project


  • Rezaul Karim
  • Deepa Bhat
  • Lisa Troy
  • Sascha Lamstein
  • F. James Levinson


The common practice of reducing food consumption during pregnancy is recognized as a primary cause of poor pregnancy outcomes and, in turn, malnutrition among young children in many developing countries including Bangladesh. This paper analyzes data from the 1998 Mid-Term Evaluation of the Bangladesh Integrated Nutrition Project (BINP) to identify the determinants of pregnancy food consumption. The analysis found that information available to the mother (through project-based counseling) was the primary determinant of pregnancy food consumption, had a considerable effect on consumption regardless of the woman’s circumstance, and outweighed the effect of mothers’ education. Socio-economic status, by contrast, was negatively associated with increased pregnancy consumption. Among women from high socio-economic households, 39.8% ate more than usual while the figure for women from low SES households was 49.3%. Fully 40% of women indicating a belief that more food during pregnancy is optimal reported that they did not, in fact, put this knowledge into practice during their last pregnancy, implying that household pressures often prevailed over the woman’s own choice. Factors not significantly associated with food consumption during pregnancy included number of antenatal visits, household size, and family type.

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  • Rezaul Karim & Deepa Bhat & Lisa Troy & Sascha Lamstein & F. James Levinson, 2002. "Determinants of Food Consumption During Pregnancy in Rural Bangladesh: Examination of Evaluative Data from the Bangladesh Integrated Nutrition Project," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 11, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:fsn:wpaper:11

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    More about this item


    malnutrition; Bangladesh; women;

    JEL classification:

    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


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