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Nutrition in pregnancy in India far worse than believed: Coffey in PNAS, NYT, Hindu

Written by Dean Spears on March 3rd, 2015

Diane Coffey‘s new article “Prepregnancy body mass and weight gain during pregnancy in India and sub-Saharan Africa” was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.   Diane’s article is important because it shows that maternal nutrition in India is even worse than previously believed: 42.2 percent of women who become pregnant are underweight in India, compared with 16.5 percent in Africa. Weight gain in pregnancy is too low in both India and Africa, but the result is that women in India end pregnancy weighing less, on average, than women in Africa do when they begin pregnancy. “In India, young newly married women are at the bottom of household hierarchies,” Diane said to Gardiner Harris of the New York Times. “So at the same time that Indian women become pregnant, they are often expected to keep quiet, work hard and eat little.”       Check out more coverage of this research: