Although the importance of diet quality for improving childhealth is widely recognized, the roles of environmental factors and theabsorption of nutrients for children?s physical growth and morbidity have not been adequately integrated into a policy framework. Moreover, nutrient intakes gradually affect child health, so it is helpful to usealternative tools to evaluate short-term interventions versus long-termfood policies. This article emphasizes the role of diet quality reflected in the intake of nutrients such as protein, calcium, and iron forchildren?s physical growth. Vitamins A and C are important for reducingmorbidity. Children?s growth and morbidity affect their cognitive development, which is critical for the future supply of skilled labor andeconomic growth. Evidence on these issues from countries such as Bangladesh, India, Kenya, the Philippines, and Tanzania is summarized. The supply of nutritious foods is appraised from the viewpoint of improvingdiet quality. Finally, the roles of educational campaigns and indirecttaxes on unhealthy processed foods consumed by the affluent in developing countries are discussed.
About the Speaker:
Prof. Alok Bhargava is an Indian-Americaneconometrician. He studied mathematics at Delhi University and economicsat the London School of Economics. He is currently a professor at theUniversity of Maryland School of Public Policy. He received his Ph.D. in econometrics from the London School of Economics under the supervision ofJohn Denis Sargan in 1982. His thesis (The Theory of the Durbin?WatsonStatistic with special reference to the Specification of Models in Levels as against in Differences) led to many tests for unit roots that were usedin co-integration analyses. Since 1991, he has been publishing onimportant aspects of nutrition, food policy, population health, child development, demography, epidemiology, AIDS, and finance in developing anddeveloped countries. His academic publications demonstrate the usefulnessof rigorous econometric and statistical methods in addressing issues of under-nutrition and poor child health in developing countries, as well asobesity in developed countries.He is an associate editor of the multi-disciplinary journal Economics andHuman Biology. He has held teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University and University of Houston, and haspublished over 50 articles in academic journals, several of which havebeen very highly cited.