Nexus between economic and nutrition transitions in Nepal: Preliminary observations from time series data (1970 -2010)

Yagya Prasad Subedi, Debbi Marais, David Andrew Newlands

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

Abstract

This presentation aims to describe the economic and nutrition transitions in Nepal by identifying time-series macroeconomic trends from government databases and macronutrients trends from food supply balance sheets over the past 40 years.
Over the past four decades in Nepal, as urbanization increasingly expanded along with the expansion of the industrial and service sectors, more people gradually became employed in modern sectors in the cities, their productivity has increased and they have adopted a life style with reduced physical activity, less time spent on cooking and increasingly having more energy dense fatty foods and sugary drinks, most of them away from home.
Time series trends shows that Nepalese diets increasingly became higher in vegetable oils, sugary drinks and sweeteners, fatty milk products, and poultry products. Initially these patterns were associated with the rich urban population, but growing demand shows that these patterns are rapidly affecting rural inhabitants as well.
The time-series trends indicate that Nepal is increasingly faced with prevailing under-nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies (such as vitamin A and iron) co-existing with increasing over-nutrition. The growing evidence indicates that there will be a significant productivity loss because of the over-weight related problems in the modern sector in the economy in the near future, if appropriate policy measures and intervention programs are not designed to divert these trends.
Keywords
Body mass index (BMI); urbanization; industrial and service sectors; under-nutrition; over nutrition; policy measures; productivity loss; intervention programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 7 Jun 2013

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