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Associations of gender inequality with child malnutrition and mortality across 96 countries

Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics Marphatia, A. A., Cole, T.J. , Grijalva-Eternod, C. , Wells, J. C. K. 2016-3-23
Article on how national efforts to reduce low birth weight (LBW) and child malnutrition and mortality prioritize economic growth. However, this may be ineffective, while rising gross domestic product (GDP) also imposes health costs, such as obesity and non-communicable disease. There is a need to identify other potential routes for improving child health. The associations were investigated of the Gender Inequality Index (GII), a national marker of women's disadvantages in reproductive health, empowerment, and labor market participation, with the prevalence of LBW, child malnutrition (stunting and wasting), and mortality under 5 years in 96 countries, adjusting for national GDP. The GII displaced GDP as a predictor of LBW, explaining 36% of the variance. Independent of GDP, the GII explained 10% of the variance in wasting and stunting and 41% of the variance in child mortality. Simulations indicated that reducing GII could lead to major reductions in LBW, child malnutrition, and mortality in low- and middle-income countries. Independent of national wealth, reducing women's disempowerment relative to men may reduce LBW and promote child nutritional status and survival. Longitudinal studies are now needed to evaluate the impact of efforts to reduce societal gender inequality.
  • Economic
  • Education
  • Food Insecurity
  • Gender and/or Agency
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Women and/or Girls
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Caribbean
  • Central Africa
  • Central Asia
  • Central Europe
  • East Africa
  • East Asia
  • Eastern Europe
  • Europe
  • Global
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • North Africa
  • North America
  • Oceania
  • South Africa
  • South Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • West Africa
  • Western Europe
  • a. Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)
  • b. High-Income Countries (HICs)
  • China
  • Germany
  • Singapore
  • Adult men
  • Adult women
  • Adults (men and/or women 19+ years old)
  • Children (boys and/or girls 1-10 years old)
  • Households
  • Infants (boys and/or girls up to 12 months old)
  • Newborns/Babies (boys and /or girls 1-28 days old)
  • Women (adults and/or adolescents)
  • Research
  • Article

Highlighted Sources

Act now before Ukraine war plunges millions into malnutrition

  • Advocacy
  • Policy
  • Research
  • Policy Guidance Document
  • Scientific Publication/Journal article
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Education
  • Food Insecurity
  • Gender and/or Agency
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Social Support and Protection
  • Ukraine War
  • Women and/or Girls
2022-4-21
Article on the impact of the Ukraine war on global malnutrition, laying out the elements contributing to this worldwide nutrition crisis including the disproportionate effects on women and children. It puts forward five urgent actions to be taken by governments, donors, and others to protect current and future generations from the devastating effects of malnutrition as well as to prevent acute food insecurity. View Source

Economic shocks predict increases in child wasting prevalence

  • Research
  • Article
  • Scientific Publication/Journal article
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Social Support and Protection
2022-04-20
Article on the impact of severe negative economic shock on child acute malnutrition (wasting), a major risk factor for under-5 mortality. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) macroeconomic volatility is common, and severe negative economic shocks can substantially increase poverty and food insecurity. Less well understood are the implications of these contractions for child wasting. This study explores the nutritional impacts of economic growth shocks over 1990–2018 by linking wasting outcomes collected for 1.256 million children from 52 countries to lagged annual changes in economic growth. Estimates suggest that a 10% annual decline in national income increases moderate/severe wasting prevalence by 14.4–17.8%. An exploration of possible mechanisms suggests negative economic shocks may increase risks of inadequate dietary diversity among children. Applying these results to the latest economic growth estimates for 2020 suggests that COVID-19 could put an additional 9.4 million preschoolers at risk of wasting, net of the effects of preventative policy actions. View Source

Assessing and mitigating the impact of shocks on food security and nutrition in the Asia Pacific region: Lessons from the COVID-19 response for informing the Global Food Crisis response

  • Policy
  • Research
  • Brief
  • Policy Guidance Document
  • Report
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Social Support and Protection
  • Ukraine War
  • Women and/or Girls
2022-7
Report on assessing and mitigating the impact of shocks on food security and nutrition in the Asia Pacific region to obtain lessons from the COVID-19 response for informing the Global Food Crises response. It lays out a series of studies undertaken by WFP and partners to better understand the realities of the food security and nutrition landscape since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. These are based on experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, where WFP has continually assessed household vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity through monitoring surveys, while simultaneously providing technical assistance and operations support for programs in response to the pandemic in the Asia Pacific region. In addition to WFP’s food security monitoring reports and data made available from WFP’s Fill the Nutrient Gap analyses, this brief utilizes secondary data relevant to the crisis, as well as four documents recently published by WFP and its partners. While the focus of this brief is on the COVID-19 crisis, its lessons can be applied now and into the future. Other types of covariate shocks will create compounding problems for countries. View Source