India’s Calorie Consumption Puzzle

June 9, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Lily Kuo took a look at a startling Indian statistic:

  • Despite rapid economic growth, Indians today consume fewer calories today than they did in the 1970s.
  • Today the average Indian eats just under 2,000 calories a day – far less than the 2,400 calorie bar for rural poverty.
  • There are several potential explanations for this – one is that the quality of water has improved which leads to better calorie absorption and lower overall food intake.
  • Another is that since fewer people are working in agriculture, having instead moved to less strenuous city jobs, there is a lower need for calories.
  • Indians may also just be eating more expensive food – which means that they can buy less of it, resulting in fewer calories.
  • Rural Indians also seem to prefer to spend their money on rent, healthcare, and education instead of food.

Read other explanations, see what the calorie intake graph looks like, and why this might be a government problem over here.

Source: Quartz