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

It's now official: Developed Gujarat's regular, casual workers earn less than 19 top states

By Rajiv Shah
Though not as low as state chief minister Vijay Rupani claims it to be (0.9%), Gujarat’s unemployment rate, at least as reflected in a recent report released by the Government of India, is 4.8%, lower than the national average, 6%. Yet, ironically, the same report, released soon after the Lok Sabha polls came to an end in May 2019, brings to light an even grimmer reality: Lower wages in "model" and "developed" Gujarat compared to virtually the whole of India, including the so-called Bimaru states.

Amaravati: World Bank refusing to share public grievances on Land Pooling Scheme

By Our Representative
A new report, prepared by the advocacy group Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), New Delhi, has taken strong exception to the World Bank refusing to share its independent assessment of the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS), floated by the Andhra Pradesh government in order to build the new capital.

Beijing-based infrastructure bank 'funding' India's environmentally risky projects

By Our Representative
A new civil society note has questioned the operations of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, seeking to fund projects in India through the Government of India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), calling it “a risky venture”.

Why crib? 4.5% is far better than pre-1980 'Hindu rate of growth': Subramanian replies

By Rajiv Shah
Even as sticking to his original argument that India's gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 has been overestimated by 2.5%, renowned economist Arvind Subramanian has said in a fresh paper that his estimate of post-2011-12 growth rate at around 4.5% is surely not "implausibly low", as some of his critics have been arguing following his controversial June paper.

British companies export 'deadly' asbestos to India, other countries from offshore offices

By Rajiv Shah
“The Sunday Times”, which forms part of the powerful British daily, “The Times”, has raised the alarm that though the “deadly” asbestos is banned in Britain, companies registered in United Kingdom, and operating from other countries, “are involved in shipping it to developing nations”, especially India. India, Brazil, Russia and China account for almost 80% of the asbestos consumed globally every year, it adds.

Govt of India 'lying': MGNREGA budget reduced by Rs 1,084 crore in 2019-20

Counterview Desk
NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, a well-known advocacy group for the rural jobs guarantee scheme, under implementation since 2005, has said that the statement by the Rural Development Minister has a made a mockery of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) on the floor of Parliament, revealing the ruling BJP’s “anti-worker and anti-poor bias”.

Include all workers exposed to silica dust in anti-TB programme: Govt of India told

Counterview Desk
In a letter, sponsored by well-known civil rights organization, Occupational & Environmental Health Network of India and signed by more than 60 professionals and activists*, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has been told that Indian policy makers shouldn't just acknowledge higher TB risk to mine and stone crusher workers, but also “other silica-exposed workers”.

UP's Sonbhadra killing of 10 tribals highlights 'failure' to implement Forest Rights Act

Counterview Desk On July 17, as many as 10 people, including three women, were killed and 28 injured when a village head and his supporters opened fire on a group of tribal farmers in Ubha village of Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh. While the firing took place following a clash between over a land ownership dispute, it reportedly highlights failure of officials enforce Forest Rights Acts (FRA) and Survey Settlement in favour of tribals.

Universal healthcare? India lacks provisions to 'fight' non-communicable diseases

By Moin Qazi*
Universal health coverage (UHC) -- ensuring that all people receive proper and adequate health care without suffering financial hardship -- is an integral part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It enables countries to make the most of their strongest asset: human capital.

RSS, Hindu Mahasabha were 'subservient' to British masters: Nagpur varsity VC told

Counterview Desk
Well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam, associate professor (retired), University of Delhi, in an open letter to the vice-chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr Siddharthavinayaka P Kane, has taken strong exception to the varsity decision to include RSS’ “role” in nation building in the syllabus of the BA (history) course, citing instances to say that the RSS ever since its birth in 1925 with its Hindutva allies like Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar worked overtime to “betray the glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle”.