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Malnutrition and poverty in Guatemala

  • Marini, Alessandra
  • Gragnolati, Michele
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    The objective of this paper is to document the extent, and distribution of child, and adult malnutrition in Guatemala; to analyze the relationship between selected child, maternal, household and community characteristics, and children's nutritional status; and, to outline the implications of the most important findings for nutritional policy. The prevalence of chronic malnutrition among Guatemalan children in 2000, was the highest in Latin America, and among the highest in the world. The data show very strong socioeconomic, and geographic inequality. The econometric analysis reveals a strong impact of income, and of inter-generational effects. Education of adults in the household, and the availability of infrastructure, are other important determinants of children's growth attainment. Finally, even controlling for income, and other household and community characteristics, ethnicity remains an important determinant of child nutritional status. The study also reveals an increasing prevalence of excess weights, and obesity among children and adults. Over-nutrition tends to be higher among individuals living in urban areas, and among non-poor, and non-indigenous households.

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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2967.

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    Date of creation: 31 Jan 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2967
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    1. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John, 1992. "Prices, infrastructure, household characteristics and child height," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 301-331, October.
    2. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John & Henriques, Maria-Helena, 1990. "Child survival, height for age and household characteristics in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 197-234, October.
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    4. Lavy, Victor & Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan & de Vreyer, Philippe, 1996. "Quality of health care, survival and health outcomes in Ghana," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 333-357, June.
    5. Horton, Susan, 1988. "Birth Order and Child Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 341-54, January.
    6. Barrett, Christopher B., 2002. "Food security and food assistance programs," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 40, pages 2103-2190 Elsevier.
    7. Behrman, Jere R. & Wolfe, Barbara L., 1987. "How does mother's schooling affect family health, nutrition, medical care usage, and household sanitation?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 185-204.
    8. Alderman, Harold & Garcia, Marito, 1994. "Food Security and Health Security: Explaining the Levels of Nutritional Status in Pakistan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(3), pages 485-507, April.
    9. Sahn, David E. & Alderman, Harold, 1997. "On the determinants of nutrition in Mozambique: The importance of age-specific effects," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 577-588, January.
    10. Strauss, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decisions," Papers 95-12, RAND - Reprint Series.
    11. Behrman, Jere R. & Deolalikar, Anil B., 1988. "Health and nutrition," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 631-711 Elsevier.
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