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Food Crisis, Nutrition, and Female Children in Rural Bangladesh

Radheshyam Bairagi
Population and Development Review
Vol. 12, No. 2 (Jun., 1986), pp. 307-315
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/1973113
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1973113
Page Count: 9
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Abstract

This paper investigates sex differentials in the effects of the 1974-75 Bangladesh famine and socioeconomic status on the nutritional status of children. Data on approximately 1400 children aged 1-4 years were collected from 12 villages in Matlab thana, a rural area in Bangladesh. Anthropometric indexes--weight for-age, height-for-age, and weight-for-height--are used as measures of nutritional status. During the famine, the number of severely malnourished children increased by 68 percent or 100 percent depending on the criterion used to define severe malnutrition. Children of all socioeconomic status groups were adversely affected by the famine; however, female children and children of low socioeconomic status were more seriously affected. Sex differentials were more marked among high socioeconomic status groups, suggesting that a simple improvement in household resources is not likely to decrease male-female differences affecting nutritional status in this population.

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