Intended for healthcare professionals


Commentary: Cultural change is essential

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 11 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7242
  1. Veena Rao, adviser, Karnataka Nutrition Mission
  1. 1 National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services, Ananda Rao Circle, Bangalore 560009, India
  1. nobel_6{at}

The contradiction between India’s reduced poverty plus high economic growth and the continuing high prevalence of childhood undernutrition is not as surprising as it might seem. Economic growth, mostly fuelled by the non-agricultural sector, has not reduced unemployment1; nor has it benefited the undernourished poor. Agricultural growth as a percentage of gross domestic product, per capita availability of food grains, and per capita consumption of food grains is declining.2 Double digit food inflation is further reducing nutritional intake by people who are already undernourished. Furthermore, additional income in poor households does not necessarily result in better nutrition; households may opt to spend money on …

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