Early-life nutrition is associated positively with schooling and labor market outcomes and negatively with marriage rates at age 20-25 years: Evidence from the Andhra Pradesh children and parents study (APCAPS) in India

Arindam Nandi, Jere R. Behrman, Sanjay Kinra, Ramanan Laxminarayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: India's Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is among the world's largest public nutritional programs, providing daily nutritional supplements and other public health and educational services to pregnant and nursing women, children aged < 6 y, and adolescent girls. Objective: We estimated the long-term association between early-childhood ICDS nutrition and adult outcomes. Methods:We used follow-up data from a controlled nutritional trial conducted during 1987-1990 in 29 villages near the city of Hyderabad. In 15 intervention villages, a balanced protein-calorie supplement-made from locally available cornsoya ingredients and called upma-was offered to pregnant women and to children < 6 y old. No supplement was offered in the 14 control villages. During 2010-2012, adults born during the trial were re-surveyed (n = 715 in the intervention arm and n = 645 in the control arm).We used probit regression and propensity score-matching methods to estimate the association between birth in an intervention village and rates of secondary and graduate education completion, marriage, and employment or enrollment in higher education of these adults. Results: Adults born in the intervention group during the trial, compared with the control group, were 9% (95% CI: 0.04, 0.14; P < 0.01) more likely to complete secondary school and 11% (95% CI: 0.06, 0.15; P < 0.01) more likely to complete graduate education, were 6% (95% CI: -0.11, -0.01; P < 0.05) less likely to be ever-married at age 20-25 y, and were 5% (95% CI: 0, 0.11; P < 0.05) more likely to be employed or enrolled in higher education. The estimated associations for graduate education completion and employment-study rates were greater for men, whereas the associations for secondary education and ever-married rates were greater for women. Conclusion: Exposure to nutritional supplement in utero or during the first 3 y of life was associated with improved adult educational and employment outcomes and lower marriage rates in India.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume148
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Keywords

  • APCAPS
  • Child development
  • Fetal origins
  • ICDS
  • India

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