Accounting for nutritional changes in six success stories: a regression-decomposition approach

Accounting for nutritional changes in six success stories: a regression-decomposition approach

Over the past two decades, many developing countries have made impressive progress in reducing undernutrition. In this paper, the authors explore potential explanations of this success by applying consistent statistical methods to multiple rounds of Demographic Health Surveys for Bangladesh, Nepal, Ethiopia, Odisha, Senegal, and Zambia.

The research finds that changes in household wealth, mother's education and access to antenatal care are the largest drivers of nutritional improvement, except for Zambia where large increases in bednet usage is the single largest factor. Other factors play a smaller role in explaining nutritional improvements with improvements in sanitation only appearing to be important in South Asia. Overall, the results point to the need for multidimensional nutritional strategies involving a broad range of nutrition-sensitive sectors.

Hightlights:

  • asset accumulation and parental education are important predictor of nutritional improvement in most countries

  • improved sanitation is more strongly associated with height-for-age in South Asian countries

  • asset accumulation and parental education are important predictor of nutritional improvement in most countries

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