Socio-Economic Background of Households and Health Status of Pre-School Children in India
Premananda Bharati1, Manoranjan Pal2, and Susmita Bharati3
1Biological Anthropology Unit, 2Economic Research Unit, 3Sociological Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203, B.T. Road, Kolkata 700 108
Background: The future well-being of our society depends on the health and nutritional status of the children of our present society. Thus it is necessary to see how the health of children can be improved.
Objective: This paper reveals the growth and nutritional status of 0-59 month’s old children in India and also tries to delineate the responsible socio-economic factors behind nutrition.
Methodology: The sample size of this study is 30,105 which have been collected by the third National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3). Data on socio-economic backgrounds are gender differences of the children, place, religion, education and age-group of mothers, wealth index and impact of colostrums on children’s growth and nutrition. Under nutrition has been assessed through the cutoff point of –2 of the z-score value corresponding to weight for age and height for age.
Results: The data show that there is considerable inequalities in heath status of children across states in India. In India, 35.7 per cent children are undernourished. By age-group distribution, the maximum occurrence is noticed in the age between 24-35 months. More than 50% occurrences of underweight and stunted children are found in the states of east to central belt of India. It is found that the distributions of weight and height around the means remain remarkably stable over age. The study also reveals that mother’s education, economy, age-groups, and religion has a great impact on using of colostrums.
Conclusion: Mother’s education and family welfare are the prime factors to regulate the nutritional status of children.