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The impact of malnutrition over the life course

John Hoddinott
John Maluccio
Jere R. Behrman
Reynaldo Martorell
Paul Melgar
Agnes Quisumbing
Manuel Ramirez?Zea
Aryeh Stein
Kathryn Yount


This paper examines the impact of being malnourished as measured by height for age (HAZ) at36m over the life course. It uses data collected on individuals who participated in a nutrition supplementation trial between 1969 and 1977 in rural Guatemala and who were subsequently re-interviewed between 2002 and 2004. We assess impacts across a wide range of domains:schooling; the marriage market; fertility; health; wages and income; and poverty andconsumption in adulthood. We find that poor nutritional status at age 36m is linked to lowergrade attainment and poorer cognitive skills in adulthood. Men earn lower wages and womenare less likely to have independent sources of income from own business activities. Women who were stunted at age 36m have, on average, 1.9 more pregnancies and are more likely togive birth before age 17. Better nourished preschoolers are taller as adults and have more fatfree mass and greater hand strength. Being stunted at age 36m increases the likelihood of living in a poor household in adulthood by 31 percentage points.

Publication Type(s)

Conference Paper

Ten Years of War Against Poverty Conference Papers

Conference: Ten Years of War Against Poverty


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