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Human development, poverty, health & nutrition situation in India
Authors: G.M. Antony & A. Laxmaiah
Source: Indian Journal of Medical Research, 128, August 2008, pp 198-205
Topic(s): Nutrition
Country: Asia
Published: AUG 2008
Abstract: Background & objectives: Human development index (HDI) is extensively used to measure the standard of living of a country. India made a study progress in the HDI value. Extreme poverty is concentrated in rural areas of northern States while income growth has been dynamic in southern States and urban areas. This study was undertaken to assess the trends in HDI, human poverty index (HPI) and incidence of poverty among Indian states, the socio-economic, health, and diet and nutritional indicators which determine the HDI, changes in protein and calorie adequacy status of rural population, and also trends in malnutrition among children in India. Methods: The variations in socio-economic, demographic and dietary indicators by grades of HDI were studied. The trends in poverty and nutrition were also studied. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis were done to analyse data. Results: While India’s HDI value has improved over a time; our rank did not improve much compared to other developing countries. Human poverty has not reduced considerably as per the HPI values. The undernutrition among preschool children is still a major public health problem in India. The incidence of poverty at different levels of calorie requirement has not reduced in both rural and urban areas. The time trends in nutritional status of pre-school children showed that, even though, there is an improvement in stunting over the years, the trend in wasting and underweight has not improved much. Interpretation & conclusion: Proper nutrition and health awareness are important to tackle the health hazards of developmental transition. Despite several national nutrition programmes in operation, we could not make a significant dent in the area of health and nutrition. The changing dietary practices of the urban population, especially the middle class, are of concern. Further studies are needed to measure the human development and poverty situation of different sections of the population in India using an index, which includes both income indicators and non income indicators.