The GHI is based on four measures: undernourishment, under-5 child mortality, stunting (shortness for age) and wasting (low weight for height) of children.
He then cites a UNDP survey of 16 of the poorest districts reporting serious food inadequacy in 7.5% of households and some inadequacy in 29%.
Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton and Jean Dreze found that calorie consumption in the poorest 25% of the population had actually fallen from 1,683 in 1987-88 to 1,624 in 2004-05 despite substantial income increases.
India has higher life expectancy at birth, lower infant and child mortality, and lower stillbirth and maternal mortality rates than most African countries, yet international norms show Indian children to be more stunted and wasted than African ones.
This may be more a gender than food problem, but nevertheless needs remedying through a massive awareness campaign on the evils of gender discrimination, the special needs of pregnant women and babies, and the case for female empowerment through self-help groups.
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