Impact of Poverty on Women's Nutritional Status in India. Application of Finite Mixture Models
Leandro P. Pontes1, Sabu S. Padmadas2, José G. Dias3
1UNIDE, ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute, Lisbon, Portugal; 2Centre for Global Health, Population, Poverty & Policy, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom; 3Department of Quantitative Methods & UNIDE, ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute, Lisbon, Portugal

This paper analyses the effect of household poverty on the nutritional status of Indian women, using data from the 2005-06 National Family Health Surveys. The analysis considers Body Mass Index (BMI), a widely accepted indicator of nutritional status, which is defined in terms of weight in kilograms over height in meters squared. A BMI below 18.5 score suggests nutritional deprivation. A item response score is developed to differentiate the underlying dimensions of household wealth (poverty) which is then modelled as predictor variable of BMI using finite mixture regression models, controlling for relevant individual (including dietary patterns) and household factors as well as incorporating potential unobserved heterogeneity. The analysis is carried out at state level and considering the variations within and across communities (clusters) as well as states. The identification of factors affecting the BMI of Indian woman and its exposure to health risk factors will have important implications for public health policy in India.

Keywords: Finite mixture regression models; Poverty; Body mass index

Biography: Mr. Pontes has a master degree in data analysis obtained in 2009 in ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute.

He is technician in the Portuguese statistical office.