Hyderabad: A study published in the Journal of Nutrition has pointed out that increase in food prices during the global recession in 2009 led to “wasting”, that is underweight issues in children in AP.
Researchers found that wasted children in 2009 were 28 per cent while in 2002 and 2006 they were 18 per cent. This increase of 10 per cent is being attributed to high inflation in food prices.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Public Health Foundation of India and the department of sociology at the University of Oxford, with a team from Stanford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Researchers examined data from each household’s report of their food expenditure over the past 15 days. Households reported the amount bought in kgs and the price per kg. The data was analysed in 2006 and 2009, across eight food categories (rice, wheat, legumes, meat, fish, eggs, milk, fruit and vegetables). Researchers used monthly price records collected by the Centre
Dr P Janaki Srinath, president of Indian Dietetic Association said, “When food prices increase, the earning member gets bulk food which will last long. In AP, white rice is preferred and many families consume it with red chilli powder or with a bit of chutney. As vegetables are costly or scarce in the districts, there is dependency only on one type of food.”
Nutritionist A. Usha said, “Lower-income houses need to understand that raggi, millets and other grains, which are cheaply available give nutrition to the family. They need to know about other food options.”