Decadal change in the association between the status of young mother’s Body Mass Index and anaemia with child low birth weight in India

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth


Background: The study aims to investigate the changes in the socio-economic and demographic status of young mothers of age 15–24 years and to examine the association between mothers’ nutrition, i.e., Body Mass Index (BMI) and anaemia with child low birth weight for almost two decades during 1998–2016 in India. Methods: National Family Health Survey (NFHS) round II and IV were used. The sample of this study included 3405 currently married young mothers from NFHS II and 44,742 from NFHS IV who gave birth at least one child in the last three years preceding the surveys. Logistic regression and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis have been used in this study to examine the corresponding association between the concerned variables. Results: The analysis showed that the prevalence of low birth weight (LBW) babies has decreased from 26.1 to 22.8 for the 15 to 19 age group and from 20.4 to 18.7 for the 20 to 24 age group over time. Young mothers with low BMI or severe anaemia have shown higher odds of having LBW babies. For instance, the odds of having a LBW child was 1.44 (p-value = 0.000; 95% CI: 1.05, 1.65) for mothers with low BMI and 1.55 (p-value = 0.000; 95% CI: 1.27, 1.90) with severe anaemia. Over the decade, the association of LBW babies with mothers’ nutrition has decreased. The odds of LBW with mothers with low BMI decreased from 1.63 (p-value = 0.004; 95% CI: 1.21, 2.21) to 1.41 (p-value = 0.000; 95% CI: 1.27, 1.55). Similarly, mothers with severe anaemia, the odds of LBW child decreased from 2.6 (p-value = 0.000; 95% CI: 1.75, 3.8) in 1998 to 1.3 (p-value = 0.024; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.65) in 2016. Conclusions: The maternal and child health improvement in India has been moderate over the decade. Still, a significant proportion of the women are suffering from poor health and young mothers are at more risk to deliver LBW babies. It is highly recommended to integrate maternal and child health programmes with the ongoing health policies to improve the situation while taking additional care of the young pregnant mother and their nutritional health.



Publication Date



Open Access, Gold, Green

This document is currently not available here.