Impact of wealth inequality on child nutrition in Bangladesh

  • Mortuza Ahmmed Department of Statistics International University of Business, Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT)
Keywords: economic inequality, child nutrition, concentration index, tangible wealth, principal component analysis


Background The prevalence of malnutrition in Bangladesh is
among the highest in the world. Millions of women and children
suffer from one or more forms of main utrition, including low birth
weight, wasting, stunting, underweight, vitamin A deficiency,
iodine deficiency disorders, and anemia. Today malnutrition
not only affects individuals, but its effects are passed from one
generation to the next as malnourished mothers give birth to
infants wh o struggle to develop and thrive.
Objective To assess the economic impact on child nutrition in
Methods The 2011 Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey data
was used for this study. In this study, quintiles were calculated
based on asset and wealth scores by use of principal component
analysis. To understand the nutritional status and health
inequality, concentration index was also calculated.
Results The negative concentration index showed a higher rate
of malnutrition in the children less than five years of age from the
poorest class. Furthermore, the ratio of poorest to richest indicated
that stunting and underweight conditions in rural children under
five years of age were almost two times higher than that of the
richest children. This inequality in the health situation of children
may be explained in terms of income inequality. In Bangladesh,
about 40% of the wealth is concentrated in 10% of the families.
The results are discussed as possible input for public policy.
Conclusion Bangladeshi children under the age of five years
and in the poorest economic class are nearly twice as likely to be
underweight or stunted compared to children of similar age in the
richest economic class


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How to Cite
Ahmmed M. Impact of wealth inequality on child nutrition in Bangladesh. PI [Internet]. 30Dec.2013 [cited 17Apr.2024];53(6):299-04. Available from:
Received 2016-08-21
Accepted 2016-08-21
Published 2013-12-30