Improving Child Health and Cognition: Evidence from a School-Based Nutrition Intervention in India
73 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2020
Date Written: June 1, 2018
We present experimental evidence on the impact of the use of double-fortified salt in school meals on anemia, cognition, and the learning outcomes of primary school children in rural Bihar, one of the poorest regions of India. We find that year-long intervention had statistically significant positive impacts on hemoglobin levels and reduced anemia by 20%, but these health gains did not translate into significant impacts on cognitive performance, test scores, and school attendance. Treatment effects on anemia and test scores were larger for children with higher school attendance. The findings indicate that school-based health programs are cost-effective and scalable intervention to reduce anemia among school children in resource-constrained countries.
Keywords: Double-Fortified Salt, Anemia, Cognition, School Children, Mid-Day Meals, India
JEL Classification: C93, I15, I18, O12.
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