Teenage pregnancies increase chance of child malnutrition by 10 per cent: Study

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  1. A new study titled ‘Social, biological and programmatic factors link adolescent pregnancy to early childhood under nutrition: a path analysis of India’s 2016 National Family Health Survey’ by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has for the first time comprehensively shown the correlation between teenage pregnancy and child under nutrition in India.
  2. The study has highlighted how child marriage adds to India’s child malnutrition burden. It analysed data from 60,097 mother-child pairs and examined the extent to which teenage pregnancy is associated with child under nutrition. According to the study, stunting (low height for age) and underweight (low weight for age) prevalence was 10% points higher in children born to adolescent mothers.
  3. The study has also highlighted that the social challenges faced by schemes such as the Centre’s Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, the Delhi government’s Ladli and the West Bengal government’s Kanyashree. These are conditional cash transfer schemes that are aimed at encouraging education for girls and preventing underage marriage and infanticide
  4. According to the National Family Health Survey-4 (NHFS-4) data, among the marriages in the country, 27% are those of underage girls. Further, according to the data, 38.4% babies in India are stunted.

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