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Change in cost and affordability of a typical and nutritionally adequate diet among socio-economic groups in rural Nepal after the 2008 food price crisis

Akhter, N; Saville, N; Shrestha, B; Manandhar, DS; Osrin, D; Costello, A; Seal, A; (2018) Change in cost and affordability of a typical and nutritionally adequate diet among socio-economic groups in rural Nepal after the 2008 food price crisis. Food Security , 10 (3) pp. 615-629. 10.1007/s12571-018-0799-y. Green open access

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Abstract

Diet quality is an important determinant of nutrition and food security and access can be constrained by changes in food prices and affordability. Poverty, malnutrition, and food insecurity are high in Nepal and may have been aggravated by the 2008 food price crisis. To assess the potential impact of the food price crisis on the affordability of a nutritionally adequate diet in the rural plains of Nepal, data on consumption patterns and local food prices were used to construct typical food baskets, consumed by four different wealth groups in Dhanusha district in 2005 and 2008. A modelled diet designed to meet household requirements for energy and essential nutrients at minimum cost, was also constructed using the ‘Cost of Diet’ linear programming tool, developed by Save the Children. Between 2005 and 2008, the cost of the four typical food baskets increased by 19% – 26% and the cost of the nutritionally adequate modelled diet increased by 28%. Typical food baskets of all wealth groups were low in macro and micronutrients. Income data for the four wealth groups in 2005 and 2008 were used to assess diet affordability. The nutritionally adequate diet was not affordable for poorer households in both 2005 and 2008. Due to an increase in household income levels, the affordability scenario did not deteriorate further in 2008. Poverty constrained access to nutritionally adequate diets for rural households in Dhanusha, even before the 2008 food price crisis. Despite increased income in 2008, households remain financially unable to meet their nutritional requirements.

Type: Article
Title: Change in cost and affordability of a typical and nutritionally adequate diet among socio-economic groups in rural Nepal after the 2008 food price crisis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s12571-018-0799-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-018-0799-y
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Food price crisis, Nutritionally Adequate Diet, Typical food basket, Poverty, Food security, Malnutrition
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049076
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