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New research shows that getting wealthier does not always make a nation healthier. Subu Subramanian is a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health in Massachusetts. He says many people believe that economic growth is the best way to improve child health in developing countries. But, he says, that is not always true. Take India, for example. A common measure of a country’s economic health is gross domestic product, or GDP. India’s GDP has been growing by more than five percent a year. That is a higher growth rate than most Western countries. Yet more than two-fifths of Indian children are underweight. And Subu Subramanian says the percentage of underweight children has changed little since the 1990s. He and other researchers asked a question. Was economic growth failing to reach children in other countries? They looked at health surveys carried out since 1990 in 36 low- and middle-income countries. The researchers compared the effect of GDP growth and signs of child malnutrition. But they found only a small link. The group reported their findings in the journal Lancet Global Health. Subu Subramanian says money should be spent on clean water, childhood immunization campaigns and other programs. The head of the Institute of Development Studies, Lawrence Haddad, disagrees. He says malnutrition has dropped sharply over the past 20 years in countries like Vietnam, Ghana or Brazil. Lawrence Haddad says economic growth was responsible for half of those declines. He says it takes both GDP growth and the right investments to improve child nutrition.