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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Bangladesh Priorities: Nutrients and Micronutrients, Rose

Research by Jonathan Rose, a research advisor with the South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies, examines programs to fight malnutrition by delivering nutrients and micronutrients to young children and pregnant mothers.


Strategy Takas of benefits per taka spent
Nutrition & micronutrients, ½-5 year olds 19

The proposals include education about breast-feeding, energy-packed and high-protein foods, iodized salt, and supplements of vitamin A, zinc, or other micronutrients.

Delivering the nutrition-focused improvements costs roughly Tk 9,800 per child. If delivered to everyone, the greatest effect from the bundle of education, nutrients, and micronutrients would be on the rate of stunting, which would fall from 36 percent to an estimated 29 percent—averting stunting in roughly 450,000 children.

Stunted children have lower lifetime earnings due to their early-life setbacks. Thus, a significant measure of the impact of better nutrition is the higher incomes these children will likely have. In total, this amounts to about Tk 20 million (Tk 2 crore) over the course of their working careers.

The research shows that each taka spent on the nutrition efforts would do about 19 takas of social good.