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Trends and Patterns in the Triple Burden of Malnutrition in India

Publisher: Centre for Development Economics

This paper brings together recent evidence on what has come to be referred to as the triple burden of malnutrition—consisting of overnutrition, undernutriton, and micronutrient deficiencies—using various anthropometric, biochemical, and diet quality indicators, and juxtaposing these against changes in relative prices. The evidence points to the rapid emergence of overweight as a public health problem, widespread not only in urban, but also in rural areas; associated non-communicable diseases are also on the rise. Over time, while most indicators of undernutrition have improved, magnitudes are nonetheless high; a persistent problem is anemia, the prevalence of which remains high and unchanged. As for food, more than quantity, it is its quality that appears to be correlated with malnutrition. Yet improvements in diet quality have not been high, and micronutrient intakes remain low. It has become increasingly difficult for the poor to have a diet rich in vegetables, dairy and meat, as their prices (per unit calorie), relative to cereals, have risen faster than for the rich.

Author(s): J.V. Meenakshi | Views(404)

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