Has Dietary Transition Slowed Down in India: An Analysis Based on 50th, 61st and 66th Rounds of NSS


Our study examines changes in diets over the period 1993-2009. Diets have shifted away from cereals towards higher consumption of fruits, vegetables, oils and livestock products. Using household data, a food diversity index (FDI) is constructed, based on five food commodities. Significant price effects that vary over time are con

firmed, as also income/expenditure effects. Over and above these effects, more sedentary life styles and less strenuous activity patterns played a significant role in shaping dietary patterns. An important finding is slowing down of dietary transition among the poor-especially in rural areas-in the more recent sub-period 2004-09. Clues relate to weakening of food price, expenditure and life-style effects.


Diets, Demand, Prices, Income, Environment, India

JEL Classification

C23, D12, I32


Raghav GAIHA
Formerly, Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi

School of Business, Public Policy and Social Entrepreneurship, Ambedkar University Delhi

Katsushi S. IMAI
School of Social Sciences, the University of Manchester
Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration
Kobe University
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe
657-8501 Japan
Phone: +81-78-803-7036
FAX: +81-78-803-7059

Department of Sociology, Yale University

Ganesh THAPA
International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome