Dietary transition in India: an analysis based on NSS data for 1993 and 2004

Author name: 
Nidhi Kaicker
Vani S. Kulkarni
Raghav Gaiha

Our study examines changes in diets over the period 1993-2004. Diets have shifted away from cereals towards higher consumption of fruits, vegetables, oils and livestock products. Using household data, reduced form demand relations are estimated for nine food commodities. Significant own and cross-price effects that vary over time are confirmed, as also income/expenditure effects. Over and above these effects, more sedentary life styles and less strenuous activity patterns played a significant role in shaping dietary patterns. While changes in life style and activity patterns are irreversible, an important policy insight is that food price stabilization and expansion of livelihood opportunities deserve greater attention.

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