Effect of Mother’s Education on Child’s Nutritional Status

News: The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNSS) has shown a direct correlation between mothers’ education and the well-being of children.


  • With higher levels of schooling in a mother, children received better diets. Only 11.4% of children of mothers with no schooling received adequately diverse meals, while 31.8% whose mothers finished Class XII received diverse meals.
  • 3.9% of children whose mothers had zero schooling got minimum acceptable diets, whereas this was at 9.6% for children whose mothers finished schooling. Further, 7.2% of children in the former category consumed iron rich food, whereas this was at 10.3% for children in the latter category.
  • Only 49.8% of children in 2-4 age group whose mothers did not go to school consumed dairy products, while 80.5% of children of mothers who completed their schooling did so.
  • Levels of stunting, wasting and low weight were higher in children whose mothers received no schooling as opposed to those who studied till Class XII.
  • Anaemia saw a much higher prevalence of 44.1% among children up to four years old with mothers who never went to school, versus 34.6% among those who completed their schooling.

Additional Information

Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNSS):

  • It the first ever survey of its kind. The survey has been conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to measure malnutrition.
  • It studied 1.2 lakh children between 2016 and 2018 and measured food consumption, anthropometric data, micronutrients, anaemia, iron deficiency and markers of non-communicable diseases.