Treading water. The long-term impact of the 1998 flood on nutrition in Bangladesh

Econ Hum Biol. 2005 Mar;3(1):67-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ehb.2004.12.002.


Bangladesh was hit by the worst flood in over a century in the summer of 1998. Although many households were able to smooth consumption expenditure, not everyone was able to maintain adequate calorie consumption. As a consequence, the nutritional status of children in households that were more severely exposed to the flood deteriorated. We use a three round panel data set to investigate which households were better protected from longer term nutritional crises, and whether the health of flood-exposed children recovered to the level of those who were not exposed. The evidence suggests that children exposed to the flood were adversely affected by the shock to their health and did not recover within the survey period. The results also suggest that ex ante government programs were more effective than ex post interventions to protect the heath of children from the impact of the flood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Anthropometry
  • Bangladesh
  • Body Height*
  • Child Development
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / economics*
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / etiology*
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disasters*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Relief Work / economics
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors