Calorie Thresholds and Undernutrition in India, 1993-2004

Nidhi Kaicker, Raghav Gaiha

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    Using fixed calorie norms to measure undernutrition is suspect due to familiar reasons. Recent studies have proposed an approach that relies on a calorie share of staples threshold. Our analysis with Indian household data shows that such a measure is of limited interest and potentially misleading because it confines variation in calorie share to a measure of wealth. Since even the poor substitute in response to changes in food prices, calorie and income thresholds change, and, consequently, the estimates of undernourished. Thus, both the predictive accuracy of this measure and its descriptive richness leave a lot to be desired. The policy implications of our critique are significant, as not just livelihood expansion but also food price stabilisation are likely to mitigate undernutrition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDiets, Malnutrition, and Disease: The Indian Experience
    Editors Raghav Gaiha, Raghbendra Jha & Vani S Kulkarni
    Place of PublicationNew Delhi, India
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Pages100-122
    Edition1st
    ISBN (Print)9780198099215
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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