76% of rural Indians can’t afford a nutritious diet: study

News: A paper has been published titled “Affordability of nutritious diets in rural India”It is a study authored by International Food Policy Research Institute economist Kalyani Raghunathan and others.



  • Source of study : The study uses the latest available food price and wage information dataset from the 2011 National Sample Survey.
  • Methodology used: The study uses the wages of unskilled workers who make up a larger proportion of the population than industrial workers, and includes items such as dairy, fruit and dark green leafy vegetables that are essential as per India’s official dietary guidelines.
  • Key Takeaways from the study:
    • Day’s Meal Cost: Selecting the cheapest options from actual Indian diets — wheat, rice, bajra, milk, curd, onions, radish, spinach, bananas — the study calculated that a day’s meals would cost ₹45 (or ₹51 for an adult man).
    • Affordability of Nutritious Diet: Three out of four rural Indians cannot afford a nutritious diet.Even if they spent their entire income on food, almost two out of three of them would not have the money to pay for the cheapest possible diet that meets the requirements.
  • Significance of the study: The study is significant by the fact that India ranks abysmally low in the latest Global Hunger Index(94 out of 107 countries) which has shown that India has the world’s highest prevalence of child wasting, reflecting acute undernutrition.