Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 507
Nutrition Status and Socio-Economic Inequality Among
Children (0-59 Months) Across Different Geographical
Regions of Uttar Pradesh, India
Prem Shankar Mishra
Nutritional status is determined by diverse, highly interrelated physical, biological, environmental, and socio-cultural factors. Among Indian states, Uttar Pradesh has an alarmingly high prevalence rate of child malnutrition. Various geographical regions are experiencing uneven growth and development in the state that has ultimately impacted on child health and nutritional development. Therefore, this paper explores the magnitude of the nutritional status and disparities among children in various regions of Uttar Pradesh. This study uses data from the 4thround of the NFHS (2015-16). Multivariate logistic regression and decomposition analyses were conducted to understand the socioeconomic inequality in childhood malnutrition. The result shows that the Bundelkhand (southern) region has the highest prevalence of underweight (45.4 per 100) and wasted (29.5 per 100) children; however, the Purvanchal (eastern) region has the highest prevalence of stunted (48.3 per 100) children respectively. The rural areasin the state have the highest percentage of underweight (40.9%) children followed by stunted (48.4%) and wasted children (17.9%) respectively. Among mothers with no schooling, about half (46.3%) of their children are underweight, and more than 55 percent of the children are stunted, and approximately 18 percent of children are wasted. The results also indicate that child malnutrition is highly concentrated among the poor. We found that regions with a lower prevalence of child malnutrition still had great socio-economic inequalities. This indicates that there is a need to redesign the existing programmes to reach the vulnerable (poor) and marginalised groups.