Poverty nutrition linkages

Ramachandran, P. (2007) Poverty nutrition linkages. Indian Journal of Medical Research , 126 (4). pp. 249-261.

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At the time of independence, majority of Indians were poor. In spite of spending over 80% of their income on food, they could not get adequate food. Living in areas of poor environmental sanitation resulted in high morbidity due to infections; the nutrition toll due to infections was high because of poor access to health care. As a result, majority of Indians especially children were undernourished. The country initiated programmes to improve economic growth, reduce poverty and improve household food security and nutritional status of its citizens, especially women and children. India defined poverty on the basis of calorie requirement and focused its attention on providing subsidized food and essential services to people below the poverty line. After a period of slow but steady economic growth, the last decade witnessed acceleration of economic growth. India is now one of the fastest growing economies in the world with gross domestic product (GDP) growth over 8%. There has been a steady but slow decline in poverty; but the last decade's rapid economic growth did not translate into rapid decline in poverty. In 1970s, the country became self-sufficient in food production and adequate buffer stocks have been built up. The poor have access to subsidized food through the public distribution system. As a result, famine has been eliminated, though pockets of food scarcity still exist. Over the years, there has been a decline in household expenditure on food due to availability of food grains at low cost, but energy intake has declined except among the poor. In spite of unaltered/declining energy intake, there has been some reduction in undernutrition and increase in overnutrition in adults, which is most probably due to reduction in physical activity. Under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme, food supplements are being provided to children and pregnant and lactating women in the entire country. In spite of these, low birth weight rates are still over 30% and about half of the children are undernourished. While poverty and mortality rates have decreased by 50% and fertility rate by 40%, the reduction in undernutrition in children is only 20%. National surveys indicate that a third of the children from high income group who have not experienced any deprivations are undernourished. The high undernutrition rates among children appear to be mainly due to high low birth weight rates and poor infant and young child feeding and caring practices. At the other end of the spectrum, surveys in school children from high income groups indicate that between 10-20% are overnourished, which is mainly due to low physical activity. Some aspects of the rapidly changing, complex relationship between economic status, poverty, dietary intake, nutritional and health status are explored in this revie

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Postharvest Management > Food Technology
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Syamala
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2011 05:28
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2011 05:28
Official URL: http://icmr.nic.in/ijmr/ijmr.htm
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/1803

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