Handbook on Food
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Handbook on Food

Demand, Supply, Sustainability and Security

Edited by Raghbendra Jha, Raghav Gaiha and Anil B. Deolalikar

The global population is forecasted to reach 9.4 billion by 2050, with much of this increase concentrated in developing regions and cities. Ensuring adequate food and nourishment to this large population is a pressing economic, moral and even security challenge and requires research (and action) from a multi-disciplinary perspective. This book provides the first such integrated approach to tackling this problem by addressing the multiplicity of challenges posed by rising global population, diet diversification and urbanization in developing countries and climate change.
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Chapter 8: Dietary shift and diet quality in India: an analysis based on the 50th, 61st and 66th rounds of NSS

Raghav Gaiha, Nidhi Kaicker, Katsushi S. Imai, Vani S. Kulkarni and Ganesh Thapa


India is currently undergoing a rapid economic and demographic transformation. Since 1980, average living standards have experienced a sustained and rapid rise. The gross domestic product per capita has risen by 230 per cent; a trend rate of 4 per cent annually. Life expectancy has risen from 54 years to 69 years while the (crude) birth rate fell from 34 to 22 per thousand between 1980 and 2008. Rapid economic growth has been accompanied by rising urbanisation. Between 1980 and 2000, the share of the urban population rose from 23 to 28 per cent. By 2030, it is likely to be as high as 41 per cent. Rapid economic growth, urbanisation and globalisation have resulted in dietary shifts in Asia, away from staples and increasingly towards livestock and dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and fats and oil. Besides, current consumption patterns seem to be converging towards a Western diet (Pingali, 2004, 2006; Popkin et al., 2012). These dietary changes reflect interaction of demand and supply factors. The demand factors include: rapid income growth and urbanisation, bringing about new dietary needs; and, more generally, growing affluence and life-style changes. Expansion of the middle class, higher female participation, the emergence of nuclear two-income families, a sharp age divide in food preferences (with younger age groups more susceptible to new foods advertised in the media) underlie the demand.

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