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Income inequality associated with overnourishment and undernourishment in India
Date:9/4/2007

n an additional finding, higher per capita consumption expenditure at the state-level, which is a marker of economic development, was associated with an increased risk of obesity. Yet, no association was observed between higher state per capita consumption expenditure and reduced risk for undernutrition, suggesting that economic development does not have a guaranteed connection to alleviating disease among the impoverished, noted Subramanian.

The authors suggest that economic inequality and the resulting increased risk for under- and overnutrition does not reflect a lack or overabundance of resources. Rather, they emphasize the role of the distribution of these resources.

Arguably, states with a high level of income inequality tend to not only facilitate opportunities for over-consumption, but may also lead to system-level inefficiencies and corruption that in turn fail to provide adequate nutrition for those who need it, asserted Subramanian.

To address this double-disease burden and to optimize health outcomes, the authors propose implementing strategies such as ensuring access to adequately nutritional food by the poor and disseminating information about the adverse impacts of obesity within the general population and especially among the affluent.


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Contact: Christina Roache
croache@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-6052
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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