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Society at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2014

image of Society at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2014

This is the third edition of Society at a Glance Asia/Pacific, a regularly updated OECD overview of social indicators, which addresses the growing demand for quantitative evidence on social well-being and its trends. This report starts with an introductory chapter providing a guide to help readers understanding the OECD Social Indicator framework. Chapters 2 and three are special thematic chapters to address two increasingly topical issues in the social debate: Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship and Social Protection Expenditure.

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Low birth weight

Birth weight is a strong indicator of maternal health care and nutritional status as well as new-born’s chances for survival, growth, long-term health and psychosocial development. Babies who are undernourished in the womb are in great risk of dying during their early months and years. Those who do survive are likely to have an increased risk of disease, an impaired immune system and remain undernourished throughout their lives. Children born underweight are also likely to have cognitive disabilities (Sutton and Darmstadt, 2013). Poor nutrition both before and during pregnancy is recognized as an important cause of low birth weight. Research has shown that improved food quality and quantity consumption during pregnancy effectively reduces low birth weight. Other factors such as infections, hypertension, smoking, poverty and poor socio-economic status also affect birth weight.

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