In utero Ramadan exposure and child nutrition

Hoi Chu, Srinivas Goli, Anu Rammohan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

In this study, we empirically analyse whether in utero exposure to the Ramadan fasting period is negatively associated with child nutrition. The data for the analyses come from a retrospective assessment of 759,799 children from 103 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) across 56 countries during 2003-2020. Considering the month-long Ramadan exposure as a natural experiment, we implement an intent-to-treat framework, comparing stunting and underweight among children aged 0-5 years who were exposed to Ramadan fasting at any time in utero with those who were not exposed. Our findings do not show significant evidence to conclude that in utero exposure to the Ramadan fasting period is negatively associated with child nutrition. On the contrary, except for stunting in Muslim children who had in utero exposure to Ramadan fasting during the first months of pregnancy, we find no significant association between in utero exposure to Ramadan fasting and child stunting and underweight. Our main results are robust to multiple robustness checks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number204017442200037
Pages (from-to)96-109
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Volume14
Issue number1
Early online date7 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2023

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