Food consumption patterns and malnourished Indian children: Is there a link?

Pushkar Maitra, Anu Rammohan, Ranjan Ray, Marie-Claire Robitaille-Blanchet

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Despite its economic success, India has made little progress towards meeting its Millennium Development Goal targets of reducing undernourishment, particularly among children. In this paper, we use nationally representative datasets, the National Family Health Surveys (NFHS II and NFHS III) and the National Sample Survey (55th and the 61st rounds) to analyse the link, if any, between child nutritional outcomes and calorie intakes. Our analysis finds evidence of an improvement in the height-for-age z-scores, but a worsening in weight-for-height z-scores for children aged 0?3 over the period 1998/1999?2005/2006. There is also evidence of a sharp decline in per adult equivalent calorie intake from the principal food items over roughly this same period. Moreover, this decline was observed across all the expenditure quintiles. Our analysis is therefore able to identify a co-movement of declining nutritional intake for both adults and children and a lack of progress in improving nutritional outcomes of children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70 - 81
Number of pages12
JournalFood Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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