Large decrease in child stunting in Bangladesh despite limited improvement in children’s food intake, 2014.
Monica Jain. Associate Research Fellow, HarvestPlus, International Food Policy Research Institute.
I do a descriptive decomposition analysis of the major factors associated with a large decrease in stunting over 10 years in Bangladesh. Using longitudinal data I focus on the role of nutrient intake, relative to other important child health inputs, such as maternal health, sanitation, maternal education, and access to health services. During the maximum growth faltering age of 6-23 months, I find that there is no consistent improvement in either the quantity or quality of food intake of children and that food intake has no role in improving their height over time. However, the quality of food intake of older children, ages 24-59 months, has improved over time, like the quality of food intake of their mothers, and is associated with the improvement in their height over time. Among other factors, I find maternal health and access to sanitation to be important contributors to the growth of children across time. Maternal education and access to health services also have a positive, but non-robust, association with it