Faculty of Public Health - Andalas University - OCS, 13th IEA SEA Meeting and ICPH - SDev

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Food Security and Malnutrition in India: A review
Nancy Satpathy

Last modified: 2018-08-09


Background: This study assesses the food insecurity and performance of key malnutrition indicators with focus on interstate and rural-urban disparity that are implicated in achieving SDG Goal 2 in India.

Methods: Data from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) were analyzed to assess the food security status and nutritional status of Indian population. The results were triangulated with scoping review of literature.


Average dietary energy supply adequacy in India during 2014-16 was 109% with depth of the food deficit as 105%. The number of severely food insecure people was not reported. The prevalence of under-five-underweight was higher in rural India 38.3%(range:1.3-49.8%) than the urban India 29.1%(range:8.5-39.3%). Anaemia among 6-59months children was also higher in rural 59.4% (range:22.3-87.7%) than urban 55.9%(range:13.2-80.1%) population. The proportion stunted children was 41.2%(range:19.5-49.3%) in rural and 31%(range;17.1-39.8) in urban India respectively. Similarly the prevalence of anaemia among adult male 22.7%(U-18.4,R-25.2) and female 53% (U-50.8,R-54.2); as well as prevalence of underweight among adult male 20.2%(U-15.3,R-23) and female 22.9%(U-15.5,R-26.7) had shown rural skewness.


Despite of adequate national food security, the rural-urban and interstate disparity suggests inequity in nutrition status of Indian population. Policy targeting inequity in nutrition and its implementation needs urgent attention of policy makers.