Quantifying the impact of rising food prices on child mortality in India: a cross-district statistical analysis of the District Level Household Survey.


Fledderjohann, J; Vellakkal, S; Khan, Z; Ebrahim, S; Stuckler, D; (2016) Quantifying the impact of rising food prices on child mortality in India: a cross-district statistical analysis of the District Level Household Survey. International journal of epidemiology. ISSN 0300-5771 DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyv359

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Abstract

Rates of child malnutrition and mortality in India remain high. We tested the hypothesis that rising food prices are contributing to India's slow progress in improving childhood survival. Using rounds 2 and 3 (2002-08) of the Indian District Level Household Survey, we calculated neonatal, infant and under-five mortality rates in 364 districts, and merged these with district-level food price data from the National Sample Survey Office. Multivariate models were estimated, stratified into 27 less deprived states and territories and 8 deprived states ('Empowered Action Groups'). Between 2002 and 2008, the real price of food in India rose by 11.7%. A 1% increase in total food prices was associated with a 0.49% increase in neonatal (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.13% to 0.85%), but not infant or under-five mortality rates. Disaggregating by type of food and level of deprivation, in the eight deprived states, we found an elevation in neonatal mortality rates of 0.33% for each 1% increase in the price of meat (95% CI: 0.06% to 0.60%) and 0.10% for a 1% increase in dairy (95% CI: 0.01% to 0.20%). We also detected an adverse association of the price of dairy with infant (b = 0.09%; 95% CI: 0.01% to 0.16%) and under-five mortality rates (b = 0.10%; 95% CI: 0.03% to 0.17%). These associations were not detected in less deprived states and territories. Rising food prices, particularly of high-protein meat and dairy products, were associated with worse child mortality outcomes. These adverse associations were concentrated in the most deprived states.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 27063607
Web of Science ID: 376660300034
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2537536

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