The Calorie Consumption Puzzle: Media cites research by Basu and Basole

Deepankar Basu

Over the past few decades, India has witnessed a paradoxical trend: even as real incomes have grown, average calorie intake has declined. UMass Amherst Economics Professor Deepankar Basu and co-author Amit Basole ’12 PhD, investigate this phenomenon using a panel data set for 28 Indian states running over the period 1993-2009 in their paper, The Calorie Consumption Puzzle in India: An Empirical Investigation. Results show that a food budget squeeze (rapidly increasing expenditure of non-food essential items like education, transportation, and healthcare that leaves less for food) and declining home grown food consumption can explain the puzzle. The authors do not find evidence for strong effects of diet diversification or declining calorie needs. Their research has been cited in Bloomberg BusinessWeek (10/22/12) and the Times of India (10/27/12).

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