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Domestic violence associated with chronic malnutrition in women and children in India
Date:4/23/2008

explanation is empowerment, such that perpetrators of domestic violence often use several types of abuse, including physical and psychological, to control the behavior of their family members. In India, the withholding of food as a type of abuse could be a factor in the link between physical domestic violence and nutrient deficiencies that cause anemia and underweight. Additionally, domestic violence has been strongly associated with a woman's inability to make decisions for herself and her family, including the choice of types and quantities of food she prepares

The authors' second explanation is that the link between domestic violence and nutritional deficiencies may also reflect the effects of psychological stress. Women and children who experience domestic violence tend to have higher levels of psychological stress, which has been associated with anemia and being underweight.

The authors believe that reducing domestic violence is clearly important from a moral and intrinsic perspective, and that this study provides a compelling case to also address the problem from the perspective of health effects. "More efforts need to be focused on the 'non-health' aspects or 'social' conditions that influence health conditions, and domestic violence represents one such adverse social/contextual aspect that we've identified in Indian society," said Subramanian.


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Contact: Robin Herman
rherman@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-4752
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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