Diets, Nutrition and Poverty: The Indian Experience

32 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2011

See all articles by Raghav Gaiha

Raghav Gaiha

University of Delhi - Department of Economics; Australian National University (ANU)

Raghbendra Jha

Australian National University (ANU) - Australia South Asia Research Centre (ASARC); Crawford School of Public Policy

Vani S. Kulkarni

Yale University - Department of Sociology

Date Written: October 15, 2010

Abstract

This paper focuses on the Indian experience with dietary changes, their nutritional implications, and policy response to alleviate nutritional deprivation. We review the evidence on nutrient intake and dietary changes, particularly the downward shift in calorie, protein and other nutrient intake over the period 1993-2004 and provide a demand based explanation of this shift. We report on eating out as an aspect of dietary transition, examine the relationship between calorie deprivation and poverty, and argue against delinking of the two. We analyse poverty nutrition traps, whether child undernutrition is underestimated and the double burden of undernutrition and obesity. We examine the (potential) contribution of National Rural Guarantee Scheme and Public Distribution System in mitigating the extent and severity of undernutrition. We emphasize that food security entails a right to certain policies to ensure food entitlements, as opposed to a narrow interpretation of the right to food in terms of state provisioning of these entitlements. Conclusions from a broad policy perspective are delineated.

Keywords: Diet, Nutrition, Engel Curves, India

JEL Classification: C21, D12, I31, I32

Suggested Citation

Gaiha, Raghav and Jha, Raghbendra and Kulkarni, Vani S., Diets, Nutrition and Poverty: The Indian Experience (October 15, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1734590 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1734590

Raghav Gaiha

University of Delhi - Department of Economics ( email )

Delhi-110007
India

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Raghbendra Jha (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Australia South Asia Research Centre (ASARC) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
+61 2 6125 2683 (Phone)
+61 2 6125 0443 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://crawford.anu.edu.au/crawford_people/content/staff/acde/rjha.php

Crawford School of Public Policy

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Vani S. Kulkarni

Yale University - Department of Sociology ( email )

493 College St
New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
158
rank
177,953
Abstract Views
1,026
PlumX Metrics