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Age heterogeneities in child growth and its associated socio-demographic factors in India, 1992-2016

Pravat Bhandari, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Suryakant Yadav, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Objective: This study aims to assess age heterogeneities in child growth and its associated factors. Data and Methods: We analyse anthropometric data, i.e., height-for-age z-scores (HAZ) and weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ), of 317,323 children aged <5 years, from four rounds of National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) conducted between 1992 and 2016. We plot anthropometric age profiles to reveal age heterogeneities in child growth and apply age-interactive regression models (OLS and mother fixed-effects) to assess underlying age heterogeneities in the correlates of child growth. Results: Significant improvement in HAZ for all age groups was observed from 1992-93 to 2015-16, however, the shifts in HAZ scores were not uniform across all ages. The shifts were moderate among the younger children but, these appeared to be larger among the older children. Results from our fully age-interacted models suggest a wide range of determinants that have age dimensions, meaning that the effects of these determinants on child growth tend to vary with age. Conclusion: Preliminary findings of this study highlight the existence of age heterogeneities in child growth correlates which is potentially a finding of some significance and may provide policy guidance through directing the timely nutrition interventions to achieve the maximum impact.

Keywords: Children and youth

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session P19.