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Cornell University

Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition

To Reduce Stunting, Space Out Births

This policy brief presents the findings of a TCI study exploring the linkages between birth order, time between births, and relative height-for-age. According to the study, birth order affects height when births occur less than three years apart, with the height gap increasing between later-born children. When the time between births is three years or more, the height advantage of earlier-born children is insignificant.

Based on these results, TCI recommends that Indian policymakers:

  • Promote sufficient birth spacing through family planning and other public health programs and policies.
  • Integrate family-planning approaches into nutritional interventions.

Read the policy brief (PDF)