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

NutritionSubscribe to Nutrition

Taking Food Safety Seriously

India needs to treat food-borne diseases with much more seriousness than it does at present.

Nutrition Programmes Face Fund Crunch

At a time, when there is widespread concern about the very high levels of child malnutrition in India, important nutrition programmes may be badly threatened due to budget cuts. The Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi expressed this very serious apprehension on 19 October...

Children's Development

The Integrated Child Development Services scheme and maternity entitlements can play a crucial role in improving children's food and nutrition security. Both interventions are part of the National Food Security Act, though maternity entitlements have yet to be activated. Odisha has experimented with several creative policies, including initiating a maternity entitlements scheme in 2011 before the NFSA was enacted, introduction of eggs and decentralised procurement of take-home rations in the ICDS. This article, based on a field study of the two children's schemes in four districts in December 2014, reports how they perform and identifies areas for further action.

Food Security

Bihar's public distribution system used to be one of the worst in India, but the system has improved significantly from 2011 onwards. The National Food Security Act, backed early on by the political leadership, enabled the state to include the bulk of the rural population in this improved system. However, there is still a long way to go in ensuring that the system is reliable, transparent and corruption-free.

The Noodle Muddle

The essential discussion should be about the poisons in our food chain.

Mid-day Meals and Food Politics

Government-sponsored nutritional schemes cannot be subjected to caste and religious norms.

Nutrition: What Needs To Be Done?

About 805 million people - one in nine people worldwide - remain chronically hungry. Ending hunger and malnutrition requires strong political commitment at the highest level, effective coordination among various ministries and partners, and broad-based social participation. Three policy priorities are crucial to ending malnutrition - expansion of social protection; making smallholder agriculture more nutrition sensitive; and focusing on under-fi ve child and maternal nutrition defi ciencies. An integrated approach is needed to ensure that food consumed is nutritious, wholesome, acceptable, safe and affordable, especially to the poorest and most vulnerable.

Manipulation by Association

Much of India's nutrition agenda is being driven by the private sector through public-private partnerships and so-called multi-stakeholder dialogues. The new strategies of transnational corporations fall under the category of manipulation by association, where they establish their role and legitimacy by associating themselves with key institutions and people. A prime example of this is the influential 2013 series on maternal and child nutrition published by the Lancet. This comment analyses the issue and proposes some solutions.

Evaluating the Social Orientation of the Integrated Child Development Services Programme

Examining who the beneficiaries are of the Integrated Child Development Services programme, an spect that has been neglected, this paper presents econometric estimates regarding the relative strength of personal and household circumstances in determining the likelihood of utilising the programme's services. These estimates suggest that inter-group differences in utilisation rates have less to do with characteristics and much more to do with group identity. The paper also suggests a trade-off between quality and utilisation by hypothesising that the poor quality of services leads upper-caste mothers to exit the ICDS market and seek these services elsewhere.

Mid-Day Meals and Beyond

Siddheshwar Shukla’s article “Mid-Day Meal: Nutrition on Paper, Poor Food on the Plate” (EPW, 15 February 2014) was insightful. It highlights some pressing concerns through facts and f­igures on an issue which deals with the physical well-being of children. Nutritious food to schoolchildren is an...

Mid-Day Meal

The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is the world's biggest school lunch programme and is being implemented all over India for primary and upper primary school students. However, nutrition and hygiene are now among the main challenges it faces. Out of 876 test reports of mid-day meal samples in Delhi from 1 January 2012 to 31 March 2013, more than 90% failed to meet the standard of 12 gms of protein and 450 calories. A number of loopholes in the scheme need to be plugged if nutritious food, not just something cooked, is to reach the plates of poor students.

Food and Nutrition in India: Facts and Interpretations

This paper reviews recent evidence on food intake and nutrition in India. It attempts to make sense of various puzzles, particularly the decline of average calorie intake during the last 25 years. This decline has occurred across the distribution of real per capita expenditure, in spite of increases in real income and no long-term increase in the relative price of food. One hypothesis is that calorie requirements have declined due to lower levels of physical activity or improvements in the health environment. If correct, this does not imply that there are no calorie deficits in the Indian population - nothing could be further from the truth. These deficits are reflected in some of the worst anthropometric indicators in the world, and the sluggish rate of improvement of these indicators is of major concern. Yet recent trends remain confused and there is an urgent need for better nutrition monitoring.

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