Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Child Malnutrition in India

Borooah, Vani (2018): Child Malnutrition in India. Published in: Health and Well-Being in India No. Palgrave Macmillan (May 2018): pp. 105-142.

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This chapter examines child malnutrition in India. Even though the incidence of malnutrition in India has declined greatly since Independence, the prevalence of malnutrition in India remains extremely high, even relative to other poor countries. It is, however, difficult to arrive at a universally acceptable explanation for why this should be so. The contribution of this chapter is to examine the relative strengths of the determinants of child malnutrition in India, paying attention to household characteristics (social group, consumption level, education, location) and the characteristics of the households’ dwellings (presence of toilets, separate kitchen, vent in the cooking area). The analysis also examines the importance of anganwadis in combating child malnutrition through growth monitoring, health checks, and the provision of supplementary food. In addition, a unique characteristic of this chapter is that it draws attention to the importance of personal hygiene, through washing hands with soap and water after defecation, as a prophylactic against diarrhoeal disease.

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