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Growth Reference Charts and the Nutritional Status of Indian Children
Authors: Tarozzi, Alessandro
Source: Economics and Human Biology, December 2008, v. 6, iss. 3, pp. 455-68; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2008.07.004
Topic(s): Child health
Nutrition
Country: Asia
  India
Published: DEC 2008
Abstract: Abstract: We evaluate the growth performance of Indian children of age 0-3 using data from the 1998-1999 National Family and Health Survey, making use of the new child growth standards developed by the World Health Organization' Multicentre Growth Reference Study. We find that the new charts lead to an increase of 4.2 million in the estimated number of stunted children, and an increase of 2.3 million in the estimated number of wasted children. The estimated number of underweight children decreases instead by 2.1 million. We also use data on ethnic Indians living in the United Kingdom to provide evidence on the height genetic potential of Indians. We find that children of Indian ethnicity who live in the UK have anthropometric outcomes comparable to those in commonly used growth standards and that the height of ethnic South Asian in the sample is negatively related with the amount of time spent outside the United Kingdom.