Climate change, household amenities, and women’s nutritional status in Bangladesh
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Although Bangladesh has achieved considerable success in most of its socio-economic indicators in the last couple of decades, women and children undernutrition is still among the highest in the world. Women in Bangladesh suffer from a three-dimensional obstacle in maintaining a standard nutritional status: climate change, poor household amenities, and gender inequality. Bangladesh’s economy is predominantly rural agricultural where most people receive their dietary iron and/or zinc from C3 grains and legumes susceptible to lose iron and zinc content due to elevated carbon concentration in the atmosphere. On the other hand, the Asian Enigma theory indicates that despite having better position in most of the indicators of human well-being, South Asian women and children are in backward position in terms of nutritional status than the sub-Saharan African countries. Poor household amenities and gender inequality are the responsible factors behind this paradox. The current study attempts to examine how the underlying connection between climate change and poor household amenities is negatively affecting women’s body mass index (BMI). The study used both Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS), 2007 dataset and global positioning system (GPS) data to connect women’s BMI with household amenities and climatic variabilities. Results of the study indicate that some climatic variabilities and poor household amenities have statistically significant negative consequences on women’s body mass index. But when the predictor variables are combined together in the same model, individual factors and poor household amenities become more important than climatic variabilities in predicting women’s nutritional status in Bangladesh.