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Malnutrition in primary school‐age children: A case of urban and slum areas of Bahawalpur, Pakistan

Rana Ejaz Ali Khan (Department of Economics, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, Pakistan)
Toseef Azid (College of Business Administration, Taibah University, Madinah Munwwarah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 2 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to highlight the determinants of malnutrition of primary school‐age (five to ten years) children in urban and slum areas. The ultimate objective is to frame policy proposals for children's nutritional welfare.


In this empirical study, logit model is applied to 882 observations of primary data. The composite index of anthropometric failure (CIAF) is constructed to use an indicator of malnutrition.


The probability for anthropometric failure increases by age, birth‐order, female sex and activity of the child (child labor or home‐care activity) other than schooling. The parents' education, specifically mothers' education, can play an important role for child's nutritional status. Malnutrition is positively related with congestion in the household (number of household members per room), while provision of electricity, safe drinking water and underground drainage turns out to be negatively affecting children's malnutrition. The children living in slums are more likely to experience anthropometric failure.

Research limitations/implications

From the policy perspective awareness about gender equity of child, adult education, growth of household income specifically of slum areas and improvement in living conditions (through public health works program) may contribute to enhance children's nutritional status.

Practical implications

The slums need targeted policy for children welfare regarding their nutrition in the form of provision of public utilities and income support.


From the methodological point of view, CIAF has been estimated as a measure of malnutrition. The findings of study may support academicians, policy makers and social activists for human development programs.



Ejaz Ali Khan, R. and Azid, T. (2011), "Malnutrition in primary school‐age children: A case of urban and slum areas of Bahawalpur, Pakistan", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 38 No. 9, pp. 748-766.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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