ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Moving Narrative

common belief that 'everything gets worse, especially for the poor, during the rainy season' is a little simplistic to say the least. The complex nature of the relationship between seasonality and nutrition emerges partly from the contrasting results obtained in this respect in the Tamil Nadu and the Andhra Pradesh studies. The household survey in North Arcot district detects little trace of seasonal effects: although activity levels and energy intakes do vary considerably between different seasons, anthropometric measurements are remarkably stable. For instance, the 'body mass index1 varies by only 2.8 per cent for men and 1.2 per cent for women between the 'highest BMI' and Mowest BMI' seasons; further, for men as well as for women seasonal variations in BMI were smallest among the landless. In the Warangal sample of children under five, on the other hand, a clear seasonal pattern does emerge (perhaps due to the absence of extensive irrigation, which does not apply to North Arcot). During the rainy season, low food availability combined with a peak of child disease and female labour force participation adversely affect child nutrition; the reverse applies during the winter season. On the other hand, subjective perceptions of family health in different seasons do not exactly correspond to this pattern. When asked "in a normal year, which is the worst time for your family's health, and why?", a majority of men cite winter as the worst season and "adverse weather" as the cause. Women, on the other hand, tend to regard the rainy season as even worse than the winter season, with adverse weather remaining the most widely-cited cause of ill health. Gender The book provides a number of useful insights on gender-related aspects of health and nutrition. Concerning the nutritional status of females vis- a-vis males, there are

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