Long-term food and health policies for enhancing children’s physical development: evidence from a longitudinal study in the Philippines

Speaker: Alok Bhargava, professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

Chair:  Jyotsna Puri, deputy executive director, 3ie

Chief discussant: Vandana Prasad, national convenor, Public Health Resource Network

Subhadra Menon, deputy director—Research (Healthcare), The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation

Date: 24 June 2016, 3.30-5.00 p.m

Venue: Seminar hall 3, Kamladevi complex, India International Centre, New Delhi -110003

Alok Bhargava will show how rigorous econometric and statistical analyses can improve our understanding of the effects of socioeconomic, behavioural and nutritional variables on outcomes such as children’s height and weight in developing countries. These outcomes are also important determinants of their cognitive development and adult labour productivity.

This talk will provide insights into the role played by children’s sicknesses on their physical development and show that the interval for food policy interventions is considerably longer than the recent emphasis on the ‘first 1000 days’. The evidence from a longitudinal data set spanning over 20 years from the Philippines will be useful for the formulation of food policies that emphasise higher intakes of nutrients such as protein and calcium. Importance of reducing children’s morbidity burden via environmental interventions and immunisations will also be highlighted.

About the Speaker

Alok Bhargava is a professor at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland. He holds a degree in mathematics from Delhi University and a PhD in econometrics from the London School of Economics. Bhargava has several publications in top academic journals on various aspects of health and economic development including AIDS, child development, demography, epidemiology, food policy, nutrition, obesity, and population health in developing and developed countries. His research on longitudinal econometric methods and its applications demonstrates the usefulness of rigorous statistical analyses for the formulation of food and health policies.

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Photo©Sanofl Pasteur Gabriel Pagcaliwagan

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