Economics of Nutrition
The main attention on the food front in lndia ts five year plans has been focused on the question of under nutrition rather than malnutrition. This pre occupation with the quantitative instead of the qualitative aspect of food problem is not difficult to understand, in view of the inadequate domestic output and low per capita consumption of all foods, low average calorie intake, and evidence of widespread "hunger" broqght out by diet surveys undertaken in different parts of the country. However the main attention on the food front in lndiats five year plans has been focussed on the question of undernutrition rather than malnutrition. This preo ccupstion with the quanti- tative instead' of the qualitative aspect of food problem is not difficult to understand, in view of the' inadequate domestic output and low per capita consumption of all foods, low average calorie intake, and evidence of widespread l!hungertf broqght out by diet sukveys undertaken in different parts of the country. Hawever, the basic approach of the Planning Commission to the question of nutrition, as indicated briefly in the second plan document, is based on a preconceived notion that "it will not be possible to provide nutrition at optimum levels to everybody". This presumption led them to the conclusion that "priority in improving nutrition should be given to vulnerable groups of the populationt"- such as expectant and nursing mothers, infants, etc. [Working Paper No.4]
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