2007, Volume 13 No. 1

ARTICLE 6

Population, Health and Nutrition in Central India: A Situational Analysis

Rajesh K. Gautam1 and Dipak K. Adak2
1 Department of Anthropology, Dr.H.S. Gour University, Sagar-470003, Madhya Pradesh, India;
2 Anthropological Survey of India, Field Station, Sagar-470003, Madhya Pradesh, India

ABSTRACT
India is the second most populous in the world, having crossed the population mark of 1 billion in the year 2000. The different geographical regions exhibit different levels of health and nutritional status. Out of 35 states, some are identified as demographically lagging behind, called BIMARU. Central India falls in this category and the present paper provides a situational analysis of the region with respect to population growth, socio-economic condition, health scenario and level of nutrition in the region. The level of socio-economic development is relatively poor in this part when compared to other parts of the country. The population growth is higher than the national average. The Infant mortality rate (IMR) continues to be higher in Central India, varying from 70 to 164 across the districts in the region. Regression analysis shows a negative correlation between Human development index (HDI) and infant mortality rate. Considering 18.5 as a cut-off point for screening the individuals into normal and chronic energy deficiency (CED) groups, it is found that the prevalence of CED is lower among the populations of non-backward districts (50.5 %) than that in the backward districts (53.6 %). It is suggested that the overall socio-economic development should be accelerated and infant mortality controlled in order to improve the health and nutritional status of the people in Central India.


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