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Regional Patterns of Food intake and Nutrients in Rural India: Evidence from NSS 66th round

Author Affiliations

  • 1Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, INDIA
  • 2 International Institute for Population Sciences, Deonar, Mumbai, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 4, Issue (7), Pages 1-11, July,14 (2015)


In the post reform period, India has witnessed a drastic change in food consumption pattern. There has been a fall in cereal intake particularly in coarse cereals whereas consumption of other food items (vegetables, fruits, oil and milk products) has not increased significantly especially in the diet of rural population. This change in food consumption has led to a drop in average per capita calorie and protein intakes which are one of the widely used indicators of nutrition. Besides, India’s performance on child anthropometric measures such as height for age, weight for height and weight for age is even worse than the sub Saharan countries of Africa. Thus, poor nutrition level in India remains an issue of wide public concern and debate. Most of the studies deal with nutrition at macro level and there are dearth of them which examine regional pattern of food and nutrient intake. This study which is based on National Sample Survey (NSS) 66thConsumer Expenditure Schedule (2009-10) attempts to exhibit food consumption and nutrition (in terms of energy, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, fat, vitamin C, iron and calcium) distribution across 85 NSS regions. Findings of the study show that Indian diet is monotonous based on cereals and milk products which are major source of all nutrients. Regions with higher intake of cereals and milk appear to consume most of the nutrients. It is also evidenced that there are large regional gaps found between northern, southern and north-eastern NSS regions on nutrition parameters in rural India. However, findings of the study need to be correlated with other similar studies as consumption of nutrients not only determines nutrition security.


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