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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Department of Economics, University of Oxford. National Research Council
Title The nutritional status of women in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1950-1980
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
URL http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/conferences/2006-EOI-RPI/papers/csae/Moradi.pdf
Abstract
Did nutrition and health in sub-Saharan Africa catch up to the developed countries1950-1980? We use mean heights as an indicator of nutritional intake net of claims due to unhealthy environment. Drawing the data from the Demographic and HealthSurveys, in which heights of more than 160000 women in 28 sub-Saharan African countries were recorded, we find that in a number of African countries nutrition and health conditions stagnated or decreased between 1950 and 1980. Although in several African countries the nutritional status improved until 1965, in the decade thereafter almost the entire Southwest and Southeast of the African continent went to a nutritional or health crisis. Consequently, sub-Saharan Africa represents an important exception to the worldwide trend of upward-sloping heights.Which factors can explain this poor development? A significant explanation provides the slow down of health improvements. Additionally, civil wars, the economic development and openness to foreign trade influenced the nutritional well-being of African populations significantly.

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