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The Nutrition Transition Is Underway in India


Griffiths, Paula L. & Bentley, Margaret E. (2001). The Nutrition Transition Is Underway in India. Journal of Nutrition, 131(10), 2692-700.


Nutrition research in India has previously focused on the serious problem of undernutrition related to nutrient deficit and high rates of infection. Recent data from the National Family Health Survey 1998/99 (NFHS 2), however, identified a significant proportion of Indian women as overweight, coexisting with high rates of malnutrition. This paper examines the emerging nutrition transition for women living in rural and urban communities of Andhra Pradesh, India. NFHS 2 provides nationally representative data on women's weight and height. In this paper, we examine representative data from the state of Andhra Pradesh (n = 4032 women). Logistic regression analyses are applied to the data to identify socioeconomic, regional and demographic determinants of overweight and thinness. The major nutrition problem facing women continues to be undernutrition, with 37% having a low body mass index [(BMI) < 18.5 kg/m(2)]; 8% of these women are severely malnourished (BMI < 16 kg/m(2)). However, 12% of the women can be classified as overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m(2)) and 2% are obese (BMI > 30 kg/m(2)). Furthermore, in the large cities of the state in which 4% of the sample live, 37% of women are overweight or obese, whereas in the rural areas in which 74% reside, 43% have a low BMI. Women from lower socioeconomic groups are also significantly more likely to have a low BMI. Findings from the logistic regression models reveal socioeconomic status to be a more important predictor of both over- and underweight than location of residence.


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Journal Article

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Journal of Nutrition


Griffiths, Paula L.
Bentley, Margaret E.

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