Explaining the poor-rich gap in anthropometric failure among children in India: An econometric analysis of the NFHS, 2021 and 2016

Peer Reviewed
1 September 2023

In examining anthropometric failure measures in India, a consistent negative wealth gradient was identified. Notably, over 60% of the burden of anthropometric failure is concentrated within the two poorest wealth quintiles. Maternal characteristics emerged as the most influential risk factors contributing to the socio-economic gap in anthropometric failure. Recognizing the pivotal role of anti-poverty programs and economic growth becomes imperative in addressing and diminishing this gap in anthropometric failure.

Kapoor, Mudit, Dhamija, Gaurav

This study address persistent wealth inequality in anthropometric failure in India by analyzing two rounds of the Indian National Family Health Survey (2019-2021 and 2015-2016) focusing on children aged 0–59 and 6–23 months, reveals a negative wealth gradient for each anthropometric failure measure. Over 60% of the anthropometric failure burden lies in the poorest wealth groups. Notably, even with similar risk factors, children from poorer backgrounds exhibit higher prevalence. Maternal BMI, media exposure, and sanitary facility access are key factors explaining the poor-rich gap. This uneven distribution underscores the need for targeted policy interventions, but anti-poverty programs and economic growth are crucial to effectively address the wealth gap in anthropometric failure.

Publication reference
Publication | 14 December 2023