Prevalence of low birth weight in India and its determinants: Insights from the national family health survey (nfhs), 2015–2016

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Research Article

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Anthropologischer Anzeiger


The aetiology of low birth weight (LBW) is the outcome of complex interactions of numerous physical and environmental factors. Present study aims to identify the factors determining LBW in India as well as estimate the prevalence of LBW. The study used the data of latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS), a nationally representative sample consisting 81,869 ever married Indian women of reproductive age. Data on birth weight of the full-term singleton infants born within three years prior to survey and background characteristics of mothers were obtained from 57,582 mother-infant pairs. Birth weight less than 2500 g was considered as LBW. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used for data analysis. Prevalence of LBW was highest in Central region of India (20.73%). Mother’s area of residence, education, economic condition, habit of tobacco chewing appeared as the significant determinants of LBW in infants. Mothers receiving no food supplementation during pregnancy, skipping ANC visits and vaccination, having caesarean or home-based delivery had greater odds of giving birth to LBW children. Female child had greater risk of LBW. The impact of low education reflects in present study in terms of lack of awareness regarding antenatal care, ignorance towards health check-ups and immunization during pregnancy. The study highlighted that low maternal education is an important key determinant to deal with in order to eradicate its major role in determining LBW among the infants.

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