Determinants of the socioeconomics and spatial pattern of malnutrition in India: a Geoaddative Semi-parametric regression approach
Awdhesh Yadav, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Laishram Ladusingh, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Ezra Gayawan, Redeemer's University
Childhood malnutrition is amongst the most serious health issues facing developing countries more specifically India. It is an intrinsic indicator of well being, but it is also associated with morbidity, mortality, impaired childhood development, and reduced labor productivity. Although there are health inequalities in child health and survival in India, the influence of distal determinants such as geographical location on children’s nutritional status is still unclear. We, therefore, investigate the impact of geographical location on child nutritional status by mapping the residual net effect of malnutrition while controlling for bio demographic and socioeconomic risk factors simultaneously. This study utilizes the National Family Health survey data where individual data records were constructed for children. Each record represents a child and consists of nutritional status information and a list of covariates. A Bayesian geo-additive semi-parametric mixed procedure has been used, which provide coherent regression framework based on Markov chain Monte Carlo Technique. The findings reveal considerable geographical variation of childhood malnutrition across the states with distinct north-south divide. Malnutrition has significantly high among male children as compared to female counterparts. In addition results showed that birth order, consumption of Vitamin A, Breastfeeding, caste, religion and wealth quintile have significant effects on malnutrition. Childhood malnutrition is spatially structured and rates remain very high in the central region as compared to other regions in India. More attention is needed in some areas which have high rates of poverty which includes north, central and some parts of east. These areas are more likely to have a higher proportion of undernutrition compared with other areas. Therefore, most important issues to address in these areas are health care, proper food, and raising the educational level of parents. Government should improve socioeconomics conditions.