ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Prevalence of Undernourishment in Indian States

Explorations Based on NSS 68th Round Data

Prevalence of undernourishment, a measure developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization, is a key indicator for global hunger and food insecurity targets. The FAO has developed a sound conceptual model for estimating the prevalence of dietary energy deficiency. However, the estimation methodology of the prevalence of undernourishment has been a subject of much debate. Important modifications are suggested in the estimation of the distribution of average calorie intake and average minimum dietary energy requirements. Using the latest available data and the revised methodology, it is shown that about 472 million people in India, a staggering 39% of the population, were undernourished in 2011–12.

This paper could not have been written without handholding by Carlo Cafiero at every stage of the work. Abhijit Sen and Nathalie Troubat followed the work keenly and suggested improvements. Filippo Gheri discussed the nuances in estimation, reviewed our programmes, and shared his own code with us. We also benefited from comments from Klaus Grünberger, Ana Moltedo, Erdgin Mane, Firas Nadim Yassin, Talent Manyani, Bhaskar Goswami, and the anonymous referee from EPW.

Calls to eradicate hunger—a condition where a person, given their physical condition, is unable to consume an adequate quantity of food for healthy living—have been articulated on the world stage since the World Food Summit of 1996. The Rome Declaration, adopted in the 1996 World Food Summit, pledged,

Our political will and our common and national commitment to achieving food security for all and to an ongoing effort to eradicate hunger in all countries, with an immediate view to reducing the number of undernourished people to half their present level no later than 2015.

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Updated On : 16th Apr, 2019
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