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Food Consumption Patterns and Nutrition Disparity in Pakistan

Haider, Adnan and Zaidi, Masroor (2017): Food Consumption Patterns and Nutrition Disparity in Pakistan. Forthcoming in: Pakistan Development Review

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Abstract

The study examines the changes in household consumption patterns in Pakistan based on eleven composite food groups. The analysis is based on micro level survey dataset, Household Income Expenditure Survey (HIES) with seven consecutive rounds spanning over the period 2000-01 till 2013-14. Along with differences in consumption and calorie bundles, variations in household’s response to change in prices and income have also been estimated. Empirical results based on Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System (QUAIDS) support the hypothesis that food consumption patterns are not only different across regions but are also different among provinces. Despite the increase in availability of food items and increased per capita income, average calories intake per adult equivalent in the country is still less than 2350 Kcal benchmark. It is estimated that, thirty percent of children under age 5 are underweight, forty-five percent are stunted, eleven percent are wasted and thirty percent are underweighted. The overall scenario may increase vulnerability to poverty, countrywide disease burdens and lower productivity.

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