Socioeconomic Patterning of Food Consumption and Dietary Diversity Among Indian Children: Evidence From NFHS-4

Sutapa Agrawal , South Asia Network for Chronic Disease
William Joe, Institute of Economic Growth
Jewel Gausman, Harvard School of Public Health
Rockli Kim, Harvard School of Public Health
Smriti Sharma, Tata Trusts
Rajan Shankar, Tata Trusts
S. V. Subramanian, Harvard School of Public Health

We assessed the pattern in food consumption and dietary diversity by socioeconomic status (SES) among Indian children using the most recent nationally representative cross-sectional data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4/2015-16). The key findings were that: (1) Overall, the mean dietary diversity score was low (2.10;95%CI:2.08-2.13) and the prevalence of inadequate dietary diversity was high (79%); (2) Both household wealth (OR:1.48) and maternal education (OR:1.46) were significantly associated with adequately diversified dietary intake, but the SES gradient was not particularly strong compared to the magnitude seen for anthropometric failures in prior studies; (3) The associations between SES and consumption of individual food items and food groups were less consistent. We conclude that interventions designed to improve food consumption and diversified dietary intake among Indian children need to be more universal in their targeting given the overall high prevalence of inadequate dietary diversity and the relatively small differentials by SES.

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 Presented in Session 11. Health & Mortality 2