Skip to main content

To 57% Indians fruits and vegetable are "unaffordable", same is true of other lower income countries: Lancet

Counterview Desk
Classified as a low income country (LIC) and bracketed with Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, majority (57%) of India’s population, along with other LIC countries, finds vegetables “unaffordable”, says a top study released by world renowned health journal “Lancet”.
Based on what is called Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) survey of 1,47,938 participants in the age-group 35–70, the study also encompasses four lower- middle income countries (LMICs; China, Colombia, Iran, Occupied Palestinian Territory), seven upper-middle income countries (UMICs; Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, Poland, Turkey, South Africa), and three high income countries (HICs; Canada, Sweden, United Arab Emirates).
Carried out between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2013, and titled “Availability, affordability, and consumption of fruits and vegetables in 18 countries across income levels: findings from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study”, in all 29,421 participated in the survey in LIC, a great majority of whom were Indians, 25,448, followed by 2,185 from Bangladesh, 1,713 from Pakistan and just 75 from Zimbabwe.
Carried out on the basis of household income data, and authored by 36 health experts, seven of them from India, the study says, “The cost of one serving of vegetables relative to income per household member was more than 19 times higher in LICs than in HICs, and the relative cost of one serving of fruit was 50 times higher in LICs than in HICs.”
“The proportion of individuals who could not afford the recommended daily intake was highest in LICs (57·42%), compared with 25·42% in UMICs, 17·68% in LMICs, and 0·25% in HICs”, the study says, adding, “In all regions, unaffordability was higher in rural areas than in urban areas.”
Also, it says, “Across participants in all countries studied, mean fruit and vegetable intake was 3·76 servings. Mean daily consumption of fruits and vegetables was 2·14 servings in LICs, 3·17 servings in LMICs, 4·31 servings in UMICs, and 5·42 servings in HICs. Per-person gross national income was positively associated with fruit and vegetable intake.”
At the same time, the study says, “The absolute cost (adjusted by purchasing price parity) of one serving of vegetables was cheapest in LICs and most expensive in HICs”, the study says, adding, “Conversely, the adjusted cost of one serving of fruit was highest in LICs.”
“Absolute fruit cost was highest in communities of LICs, whereas vegetable cost was lowest in these communities adjusted by purchasing price parity)”, the study says, adding, “However, the costs of both fruits and vegetables (relative to household income) were substantially higher for individuals in countries with low gross national income than in other economic regions.”
“Furthermore, in LICs, households spend 29% and 11% of their income to purchase one serving of fruits and vegetables, respectively, and the dietary recommendation of two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables per day was unaffordable for 57% of individuals”, it underlines.
“Unsurprisingly, increased costs of fruits and vegetables relative to household income were associated with reduced consumption”, the study says, adding, “Households in LICs and LMICs spend a substantial proportion (roughly half) of their income on food (compared with 13% in HICs), with households in some countries (eg, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe) spending about two-thirds of their income on food.”

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.

Oxfam on WB project: ICT 'ineffective', privatised learning to worsen gender divide

By Rajiv Shah 
A top multinational NGO, with presence in several developed and developing countries, has taken strong exception to the World Bank part-funding Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project in six Indian states – Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha – for its emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled approaches for teacher development, student assessment and digital platform for early childhood education.

Coal blocks for tycoons: Rinchi village tribals may be declared forest land encroachers

By Gladson Dungdung*
On June 18, 2020, the Government of India initiated the process for auctioning 41 coal blocks for commercialisation. These coal blocks are located in different states within India and most of them fall under Fifth Schedule areas. The Indian government claims that their decision to auction these coal areas is a big step towards making the country Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant) in the energy sector.