India is the second populous country with an estimated 1.2 billion people and third largest economy by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Indian economy has grown in the recent decades. However, despite economic growth and self-sufficiency in food grains production, malnutrition, poverty and food insecurity still persist in India. According to a report by Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), more than 230 million people are undernourished, which is 21 percent of the country's population. India is a home for world's largest number of people affected by hunger. The country, which is largest in terms of farmers and rural population, has about one-quarter of the world's food insecure people. In a report on food security, the United Nations said that the poor and hungry may have failed to benefit from the overall growth in India. While the Indian economy has grown in the past decades, the average daily calorie consumption per capita has been falling since the 1970's. The daily calorie consumption in rural India has reduced from 2,266 calories a day in 1972 -73 to 2,020 a day in 2009 to 10. In urban areas, there has been a largely downward trend from 2,107 calories a day in 1972-73 to 1,946 in 2009-10. Many voluntary reasons lie behind the decline in calorie intake. Majority of Indians are spending more money on essential expenses like education, healthcare and transportation. As these costs are growing and incomes not keeping pace, people are spending less on food. Many people have voluntarily reduced their calorie consumption even though their incomes have increased because they don't need as much food. Majority of the Indians are moving out from physically demanding agricultural work to more sedentary occupations in factories and services. Rise in food prices also directly affects the calorie intake. The negative price effect on cereals, vegetables and fruits also affects calorie demand negatively. Food prices influence choice of commodities directly through own-price effects as well as through substitutions induced by cross-price effects. As a country's economy grows, the trend is that people eat less rice, wheat and other cereals. Instead they choose high caloric costlier food. But Indians, including the poor are consuming less cereal and aren't increasing their calorie-rich food. According to National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data, despite rising wages, Indians have not been meeting the recommended calorie requirements set back in 1972 by the planning commission of 2,400 calories per person a day in rural areas and 2,100 calories per person a day in urban areas. In the recent years, Indian agricultural markets have witnessed considerable transformation with large grains in production and productivity. Calorie intake has been falling across expenditure declines, even among the poorest Indians. The poverty head count ratio has declined over time, however the prevalence of under-nutrition individuals has increased. This can be prevented with improved investments in agriculture as well as more non-farm employment, which are essential to increase rural purchasing power sufficiently. More effective delivery of food through Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) at subsidized rate, improving the performance of agriculture and diversifying produce as well as reducing the vulnerabilities of farmers could help overcome the decline in calorie intake among Indians. Source: Medindia << Smoking a Water Pipe / Hookah Leads to Carbon Monoxide Poiso... Renal Denervation may not alter Endothelial Function and Inf... >> Recommended Reading Global Nutrition Report: India is Facing Multiple Burdens of Malnutrition Public health risk due to malnutrition - including undernutrition and obesity - is a concern for every country, says Global Nutrition Report. READ MORE India Improves Ranking on the Global Hunger Index India has improved its ranking on the Global Hunger Index as the number of hungry and malnourished people has dropped. READ MORE India Soon to be Hunger, Malnutrition and Poverty Free India will be known throughout the world for its important step towards the eradication of hunger, malnutrition and poverty, says K.V Thomas. READ MORE Poverty Ridden India: Poor Couple in Northeast State Sells New Born Baby for Rs 4500 The boy, the fourth child of a family in Tripura, was sold a day after his birth. The family claims they were unable to bear the cost of bringing him up. READ MORE Chronic Dieting - Is it an Eating Disorder? Chronic dieting is associated with eating disorders that mainly include unhealthy eating practices such as severe calorie restriction in diet of men or women who on a regular basis follow fad diets mainly to reduce weight. READ MORE How to Keep Christmas Calories under Control Christmas festivities need not to be synonymous with weight gain and obesity. With some low calorie Christmas recipes you can indulge in low calorie Christmas treats and desserts this festive season. READ MORE Lifestyle Modification: No Big Deal! Simple and practically possible lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in improving our health status without actually putting much effort. READ MORE Low Calorie Diet Low calorie meals or diet include foods that are high on nutritional content and yet have fewer calories. Updated information about low calorie diet or low calorie foods and its health benefits. READ MORE The Spark Solution Diet Spark solution diet promises to be an effective method of permanent weight loss. This might be the solution for weight loss to achieve the desired results. READ MORE Turn This Diwali into a Lighter Sweeter Celebration Diwali is just round the corner! Its tough to stay health-conscious but still we are giving you a few easy tips to manage your calories and remain in shape. READ MORE Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts The importance of eating food and the physiological, psychological and social functions of food. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Daily Calorie Requirements Blood - Sugar Chart Noscaphene (Noscapine) More News on: Low Calorie DietWhy Do We Eat - Nutrition FactsDiet Lifestyle and Heart DiseaseLifestyle Modification: No Big Deal!How to Keep Christmas Calories under ControlThe Spark Solution DietTurn This Diwali into a Lighter Sweeter CelebrationChronic Dieting - Is it an Eating Disorder?