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

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Getting the HDI Right

This commentary is written in response to ‘Suitability of HDI for Assessing Health and Nutritional Status’ by Grace Maria Antony, K Visweswara Rao, and N Balakrishna (EPW, August 4, 2001). The authors have presented some revealing correlation coefficient figures between certain indicators and HDI. In a country in which malnutrition and stunted growth are still common, the authors have aptly suggested that HDI should incorporate dietary, nutritional, and morbidity details. Nevertheless, the proposed HDI (henceforth it will be known as A(ntony)R(ao) B(alakrishna) HDI) is potentially faulty.

Strategies to Combat Under-Nutrition

Household nutrition security in the 21st century must come to mean a lot more than avoidance of starvation. Foods for families must be adequate; that is, not just meet the bare energy needs for survival, but provide all the nutrients essential for normal development. The changing nutrition scene is influenced directly and indirectly by several interrelated factors. There is a need to evolve nutritional-orientation of food production programmes; examine and reverse the mistakes of the past and use new knowledge and technologies to evolve new strategies for combating under-nutrition.

Suitability of HDI for Assessing Health and Nutritional Status

This paper attempts to study the validity of the Human Development Index (HDI) which is used widely to measure health inequality and standard of living. It examines the behaviour of HDI with variations in demographic, socio-economic, health, dietary habits and nutritional status and studies the correlation of these indicators with HDI.
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