Title

State-level dietary diversity as a contextual determinant of nutritional status of children in India: A multilevel approach

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date

2018

Abstract

This study aimed to identify the determinants of nutritional status of children in India with a special focus on dietary diversity at the state level. Household-level consumption data from three rounds of the Consumer Expenditure Survey of the National Sample Survey Organization (1993-2012) were used. Information on the nutritional status of children was taken from the National Family Health Survey (2005-06). Dietary diversity indices were constructed at the state level to examine diversity in quantity of food consumed and food expenditure. Multilevel regression analysis was applied to examine the association of state-level dietary diversity and other socioeconomic factors with the nutritional status of children. It was observed that significant variation in childhood stunting, wasting and underweight could be explained by community- and state-level factors. The results indicate that dietary diversity has increased in India over time, and that dietary diversity at the state level is significantly associated with the nutritional status of children. Moreover, percentage of households with a regular salaried income in a state, percentage of educated mothers and mothers receiving antenatal care in a community are important factors for improving the nutritional status of children. Diversity in complementary child feeding is another significant determinant of nutritional status of children. The study thus concludes that increasing dietary diversity at the state level is an effective measure to reduce childhood malnutrition in India.

DOI

10.1017/S0021932017000013

Language

English

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