The New York Times reports on a new study that finds Indian women are far more undernourished and underweight than women even in poorer countries.
You know what this results in? Undernourished babies, lots of whom die in or out of the uterus.
That’s the thing about hating women – it has some knock-on effects that even non-women don’t want. It’s hard to get the amount of hatred that should be directed at women exactly right.
poor[bad] health of children in India, even after decades of robust economic growth, is one of the world’s most perplexing public health issues.
A child raised in India is far more likely to be malnourished than one from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe or Somalia, the world’s poorest countries.
Poor[bad] sanitation and a growing tide of drug-resistant infections also affect nutrition.
[Aside: it’s bad enough using “poor” as a pointless euphemism for “bad” even when it’s not confusing, but in an article that’s directly about poverty and an array of bad things, then it’s inexcusable. Poor countries have bad outcomes. Poor countries have bad sanitation and bad health in children. Let’s be clear about these things.]
But an important factor is the relatively
poor[bad] health of young Indian women. More than 90 percent of adolescent Indian girlsare anemic, a crucial measure of poor[bad] nutrition. And while researchers have long known that Indian mothers tend to be less healthy than their African counterparts, a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates that the disparity is far worse than previously believed.
By analyzing census data, Diane Coffey of Princeton University found that 42 percent of Indian mothers are underweight. The figure for sub-Saharan Africa is 16.5 percent.
And why is this? More hatred.
The reasons for Indian mothers’ relatively poor health are many, including a culture that discriminates against them. Sex differences in education, employment outside the home, and infant mortality are all greater in India than in Africa.
“In India, young newly married women are at the bottom of household hierarchies,” Ms. Coffey said. “So at the same time that Indian women become pregnant, they are often expected to keep quiet, work hard and eat little.”
They’re supposed to be like a car that gets exceptionally good gas mileage.
It also has to do with bad sanitation and sewage disposal.
Dr. Shella Duggal, Juhi’s doctor at the mobile clinic, said that almost every pregnant woman she treats in her visits to Delhi’s slums is severely anemic. Parasites, spread by
poor[BAD] sanitation and dirty water, are a crucial reason, she said.
“So the first thing we do is deworm them and give them iron supplements,” Dr. Duggal said. “And then I tell them to eat.”
It is a prescription many of her patients find difficult to carry out, she said.
“These mothers are the last persons in their families to have food,” Dr. Duggal said. “First, she feeds the husband and then the kids, and only then will she eat the leftovers.”
It’s a bad arrangement.