The Importance of Nutrition Education in Achieving Food Security and Adequate Nutrition of the Poor: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh*

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Abstract

Nutrition-sensitive social protection that enhances household resources and nutrition knowledge can be an important avenue of addressing food security and nutrition concerns of the poor. This paper studies the impact of a cluster randomized intervention of cash or food transfers, with-or-without nutrition behavioural change communication (BCC), on food security and nutrition outcomes in rural Bangladesh. We find that the addition of the BCC to transfers led to the greatest impact on the quantity and quality of food consumed by household members, especially women and children. The addition of BCC also had the greatest impact in reducing the incidence and intensity of deprivations measured using a nutrition-sensitive multidimensional poverty index. Evidence suggests this occurs through the BCC inducing increased consumption of flesh food, egg, dairy, fruits and vegetables and through investments in housing, sanitation and assets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-271
Number of pages31
JournalOxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
Volume84
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

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