Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

In-utero Ramadan Exposure and Child Nutrition

Version 1 : Received: 8 February 2022 / Approved: 9 February 2022 / Online: 9 February 2022 (16:00:34 CET)

How to cite: Chu, H.; Goli, S.; Rammohan, A. In-utero Ramadan Exposure and Child Nutrition. Preprints 2022, 2022020140 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202202.0140.v1). Chu, H.; Goli, S.; Rammohan, A. In-utero Ramadan Exposure and Child Nutrition. Preprints 2022, 2022020140 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202202.0140.v1).

Abstract

In this study, we analyse if in-utero exposure to Ramadan fasting period is negatively associated with child nutrition? The data for the analyses come from a retrospective assessment of 924,198 children from 103 demographic and health surveys (DHS) across 56 countries during the period 2003-2020. Considering the month-long Ramadan exposure as a natural experiment, we implement an intent-to-treat framework, comparing outcomes among individuals who were exposed to Ramadan at any time in-utero to those who were not exposed. Our findings do not show significant evidence to conclude that in-utero exposure to Ramadan fasting period is negatively associated with child nutrition. On the contrary, except for stunting in children who had in-utero exposure to Ramadan during the first trimester, among Muslims, we find slightly better nutritional outcomes among children exposed in-utero to Ramadan period. The better nutritional outcomes among children exposed in-utero can be attributed to high nutritious food intake and better hygienic practices during holy months of Ramadan compared to usual months. Our main results are robust to multiple robustness checks.

Keywords

Child nutrition; Religion; Ramadan fasting; In-utero exposure

Subject

SOCIAL SCIENCES, Economics

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