Do boys eat better than girls in India? Longitudinal evidence on dietary diversity and food consumption disparities among children and adolescents

This paper examines intra-household allocation of food in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Abstract

This paper examines the dynamics of gender-based disparities in the intra-household allocation of food during childhood and adolescence in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by using 3 rounds of longitudinal data from 2 cohorts. While boys are advantaged at all ages (except for the Younger Cohort at 12 years old), the pro-boy gap widens markedly at 15 years old. Specifically, mid-adolescent girls tend to consume fewer protein- and vitamin-rich foods such as eggs, legumes, root vegetables and fruit. This result is robust to gender differences between adolescents in terms of puberty onset, school enrolment, time use and dietary behaviours. Finally, gender disparities in dietary diversity during early and mid-adolescence do not vary by maternal education, poverty or place of residence, whilst they are moderated by levels of caregiver’s educational aspirations at 15 years old.

Young Lives is an international study of childhood poverty, following the lives of 12,000 children in 4 countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam) over 15 years. Young Lives is funded by the UK Department for International Development

Citation

Aurino, Elisabetta (2016) ‘Do boys eat better than girls in India? Longitudinal evidence on dietary diversity and food consumption disparities among children and adolescents’ in: Economics and Human Biology, Online publication 22 October 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2016.10.007

Do boys eat better than girls in India? Longitudinal evidence on dietary diversity and food consumption disparities among children and adolescents

Published 1 October 2016