Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Poverty and rural height penalty in inland Spain during the nutrition transition

Martínez-Carrión, José Miguel and Cañabate-Cabezuelos, José (2016): Poverty and rural height penalty in inland Spain during the nutrition transition.

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Abstract

The article analyses nutritional inequalities and stunting in inner rural Spain from a case study carried out in Castile-La Mancha. The examination of the height military draftees explores the gap between urban and rural populations and analyses the evolution of growth patterns in different habitational contexts. The results indicate that stunted growth and undernourishment were pervasive in the two initial decades of the 20th century, that the situation improved slightly in the 1920s and the first half of the 1930s, and that in the 1940s and 1950s the conditions again deteriorated considerably. Stunted growth was significant especially in rural areas, which were particularly penalized during Francoism. Height increased considerably in the 1960s and 1970s and, although this improvement also reached the rural areas, the gap that separated the countryside and the urban area did not disappear until the early 1980s. The data suggests that a poor and limited diet, the economic policies and the social assistance-related institutional framework were key factors in the evolution of growth. Finally, the results also stress the need to extend the study to adolescent circumstances, and not only children, as well as the need to investigate social inequality among different professional groups during the nutritional transition.

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