Measures, Spatial Profile and Determinants of Dietary Diversity: Evidence from India
35 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2014 Last revised: 21 Dec 2014
Date Written: July 5, 2014
Food security policies in developing countries generally focus on calorie intake, which is not sufficient to tackle the triple burden of malnutrition: undernourishment, micronutrient deficiencies and over-nutrition. Consumption of a diverse diet is important to lessen the burden and is constrained by different factors. This paper using nationally representative dataset from India, analyzes the determinants of dietary diversity, which is measured using the Entropy index. Heterogeneous dietary diversity profile across adjoining regions highlights the persistence of uneven development in terms of consumption and health indicators. We find that level of consumption expenditure, quality adjusted prices of food items, educational attainment and information dissemination are important factors that affect the household’s consumption of a diverse diet. As one moves away from towns dietary diversity improves. Large size landholders need not necessarily consume a diverse diet as expected. Our findings call for convergence in policy targeting across agriculture, health and nutrition sectors.
Keywords: Dietary Diversity, Quality-adjusted prices, Food Policy, Quantile regression, India
JEL Classification: D12, O10, Q18, C21
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