Morinda revisited: Changes in nutritional well-being and gender differences after 30 years of rapid economic growth in rural Punjab, India

F. James Levinson, Sucheta Mehra, Dorothy Levinson, Anita Kumari Chauhan, Guy Koppe, Brian Bence, Astier M. Almedom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A follow-up study of malnutrition and its determinants among children 6 to 24 months of age was carried out in rural areas of Punjab State in India 30 years after the original study, and following a period of rapid economic growth. The original 1971 study hadfound a high prevalence of mortality and malnutrition and the worst gender difference in nutritional status ever recorded in an Indian study. The 2001 follow-up study found dramatic reductions in child mortality, child malnutrition, gender-based imbalances in child well-being and care, and family size the result of participatory economic growth coupled with broad-based educational, health, and family-planning services. Despite overall improvements in caloric intake however, 40% of lower-class children in 2001 were still consuming less than 50% of their caloric allowance. With minimal gender-based abortion and significantly reduced neglect and mortality of female children, gender balance among children in this area of rural Punjab improved markedly over the 30-year period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalFood and nutrition bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004



  • Childhood malnutrition
  • Gender
  • India
  • Punjab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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