To compare the district level prevalence of childhood stunting between NFHS-4 and NFHS-5 and to explore the correlates of it at the district level. Although malnutrition rates in India have decreased over a period, country is still a home for the highest number of stunted and wasted children in the world. Among the South Asian countries, India has the second highest number of stunted children. An ecological study conducted by using the data from fourth and fifth round of National Family Health Survey. Study concentrated on percentage of children who were stunted across 692 Indian districts during 2 survey periods and its correlates from NFHS-5. District level change in childhood stunting was calculated by differencing the NFHS-5 estimates from NFHS-4. Descriptive statistics were used to understand the nature of the variables and Moran’s I statistic was calculated to check for the spatial autocorrelation in the childhood stunting. Spatial error regression model was used to identify the correlates of childhood stunting. Among the Indian districts considered, 243 districts showed the increase in childhood stunting between the time periods considered. Currently, about 33.56% of children in India are stunted and there is high spatial disparity in the prevalence of childhood stunting among the districts of it. Major hotspots of childhood stunting were found in the parts of UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. Households access to improved sanitation facility, iodized salt, clean fuel, women 10 plus years of schooling, post-natal care of mother were found to be the significant protective factors. Closed spacing of births, teenage pregnancy, low BMI of women, childhood diarrhea, and anemia were found to be the significant risk factors of childhood stunting. Stunting depends on several other factors apart from poverty, working on these factors will help in reducing childhood stunting in India.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy