Child nutrition and local food prices in Nepal

Abstract:?This paper studies the connections between child nutrition and food prices in Nepal. Data from a number of sources are combined, including the 2006 and 2011 Nepal Demographic Health Surveys and monthly retail food price data collected over the period 2002 to 2010 from 34 districts of Nepal. A total of 4,038 children are used for the analysis (2,765 from 2006 and 1,273 from 2011). Price data are selected for six food commodities important for child nutrition outcomes: coarse rice, wheat flour, sugar, ghee, soybean and milk. Separate regression results are reported for survey years, subsets of poor and non-poor households, subsets based on land holdings, and children with before and after their first 1000 days. Evidence regarding the impacts of food prices on child nutrition outcomes are mixed. Milk prices are negatively associated with both short-term and long-term child nutrition outcomes. Coarse rice prices are negatively correlated with short-term child nutrition outcomes in food deficit
districts, but coarse rice prices are positively associated with short-term nutrition outcomes in food surplus districts, underscoring the importance of higher producer prices among net-sellers.

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