There has been a decline in cereal especially coarse cereal intake whereas consumption of other food items (fruits, vegetables, meat products) has slightly increased, particularly in rural India. Mean daily intake of all foods except cereals i.e. pulses, green leafy vegetables, roots and tubers, fruits, milk and milk products, sugar and fats of Indian obese male respondents was higher than the values recommended by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR, ). Can India and China continue to produce enough food? What impact will changing consumption patterns have on global markets and food security?


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Share of vegetables in food consumption in India - by day 2017

The reverse is true in China, with pork consumption being particularly significant. However, these historical preferences are starting to change as diets diversify.


For example, chicken, goat and - to a lesser extent - beef consumption have risen considerably in India, and in urban China the consumption of fish and dairy products is rapidly food consumption in india. There is much regional variation in animal product consumption within India and China, caused by many factors including differences in income, food habits and product availability.

In China for example, the uneven distribution of certain ethnic minority groups across the country is a major reason for regional variation in the consumption of products such as dairy foods, beef and mutton. The drivers of dietary food consumption in india Many factors are driving dietary change in India and China; of these, rising income is food consumption in india most important.

As observed throughout the world, as incomes rise, consumers reduce their consumption of foods of plant origin, switching to more expensive foods, particularly animal products. Urbanisation is another important influence since urban residents tend to consume less cereals and more animal products than rural populations.

Furthermore, this factor is becoming increasingly significant: The combination of increased income and urbanisation leads to major lifestyle changes, which are themselves another cause of dietary change. For example, eating out, taking holidays and convenience foods are becoming increasingly popular in China; while in India a young and more affluent workforce is going out to restaurants and opting for convenience foods more often.

Food consumption pattern and nutrient intake of Indian obese males.

Greater opportunities for cultural exchange food consumption in india also a factor for change, with Indian and Chinese citizens becoming increasingly influenced by worldwide cultures, stimulating interests in untraditional foods - beef for example in India, or food consumption in india products in China, the consumption of which is increasing in both cases.

A final influence to mention is improvements in food production and marketing, such as the introduction of modern cold chain transportation and storage facilities.

Such developments are improving food availability throughout these countries. In addition, supermarkets, which are emerging particularly rapidly in China, are also having a key effect. Future outlook The drivers of dietary change will continue to exert their influence for the foreseeable future.

• India - food consumption as share of expenditure | Statistic

While rural consumption of animal products food consumption in india both countries will lag far behind their urban counterparts for food consumption in india time, it is likely that rural trends will emulate urban ones to some extent.

It can also be anticipated that marketing improvements will make different food products more widely available throughout China and India, although regional differences will remain. In addition to dietary changes, consumers in both countries will increasingly demand safer and higher quality products.

Research conducted by the authors, along with the findings of other studies e.


In India potatoes should perhaps be counted with vegetables, thus reducing staple consumption to around kg per capita per annum of cereals and pulses. Our neighbours in the Indian sub-continent, especially Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, also seem to be fairing poorly in the matter of average staple food consumption in india, though average consumption of cereals and pulses in Bangladesh is significantly better than ours and the situation in Sri Lanka is alleviated by the availability of large quantities of coconuts and plantains, both of which form part of staple diet there.

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Staple consumption in Nepal is also better compared to the rest of the sub-continent, with average consumption of cereals being almost 50 kg per capita per year higher than in India.

Thus India and Pakistan seem to be in a particulary bad situation in the matter of food consumption in india consumption. Average consumption of staple foods in these two countries happens to be low even in comparison to the other countries in the sub-continent.

It is remarkable how staple consumption begins to food consumption in india dramatically as we begin to move out of the Indian sub-continent. Thus Myanmar, our immediate neighbour outside the sub-continent, provides almost one and a half times the amount of cereals and pulses per capita that we manage for ourselves in India.

Food consumptiion as a share of total Indian expenditure 1993-2026

And, as we shall see below, most of the countries in south-east Asia, including Cambodia and Vietnam, and excepting only Thailand, manage equally large or larger levels of staple consumption as Myanmar.

To get a clearer idea of the implications of this low availability of staple foods in India, and to understand how we are placed in the world in terms of our food situation, it shall be instructive to look at the levels of staple food consumption in india in all those countries of the world food consumption in india have significant populations, and which happen to be somewhat precariously placed in terms of the total food availability.


We have already listed the countries with population above 5 million and average consumption below calories in Appendix 2.