Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Food and Nutrition in Pakistan (A Cross-regional Study)

Though the nutritional status of an individual is the outcome of complex interaction of a host of environmental factors, income is the mirror-image of a household’s purchasing capacity. Another major factor in determining nutritional status in developing countries is considered to be the family size. Higher income levels are regarded as a prerequisite for the improved nutritional status of household [Berg (1973); Levinson and Morinda (1974); Seyoam, Kindaue and Gebru (1986)]. It is posited that, with improvement in a household’s income, the absolute expenditure on food is likely to go up as also the intake of four essential nutrients.1 It has been observed in various studies that food intake level in developing countries varies significantly across income classes (Seyoam, Kindaue and Gebru (1986). A World Bank. study underscored the fact that serious and intensive nutritional deficiencies that exist in almost all developing countries are largely a reflection of poverty (World Development Report 1980). A large family size may adversely affect the nutritional status of every member of a household because it may be associated with decreased per capita human impact i.e. the allocation of food per member is likely to decrease with the increase in the number of household members which, in turn, may have a negative effect on per capita nutrient intake.

Shaheen A. But, Tallat Mahmood

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