Does Fertility Influence Nutrition? The Emerging Linkages in Low and High Fertility States of India

Shannawaz Mohd, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Perianayagam Arokiasamy, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Fertility decline is known to result in improvement in women’s and children’s health and reduction in poverty and infant mortality; however, new evidence is observable from the National Family Health Survey, 2005-2006 that overweight and obesity are the emerging concerns, particularly in those states which have achieved below-replacement-level fertility. While undernutrition and anemia continue to be the major problem in high fertility states, this paper tries to assess, based on both micro and macro evidence, the possible reverse causational effect of declining fertility on rising overnutrition. This study shows that with declining fertility, the percent age of overweight women is increasing at the same that undernourishment and anemia levels are decreasing. Analysis also demonstrates higher prevalence of overweight and obesity among low parity women of both high and low fertility states.

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Presented in Session 4: Population, Health and Economic Development