Improved child health and survival are considered universal humanitarian goals. In this respect, understanding the nutritional status of children has far-reaching implications for the better development of future generations. The present study assessed, first, the nutritional status of children below 5 years using the three anthropometric measures weight-for-age, height-for-age and weight-for-height in two states of India, Kerala and Goa. Secondly, it examined the confounding factors that influence the nutritional status of children in these states. The NFHS-I data for Kerala and Goa were used. The results showed that the relative prevalence of under-weight and wasting was high in Kerala, but the prevalence of stunting was medium. In Goa, on the other hand, the relative prevalence of wasting and underweight was very high, and that of stunting was high. Both socio-economic and family planning variables were significantly associated with malnutrition in these states, but at varied levels. The study recommends more area-specific policies for the development of nutritional intervention programmes.
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