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How economic reforms changed the average Indian’s diet

EconomicReforms25YearsOfChange Updated: Jul 26, 2016 10:30 IST
Roshan Kishore
25 years of economic reforms

The Indian dietary diversification seems to be nothing when compared to the change which has taken place in the average Chinese person’s diet, where cereals and other calorie-rich items constitute just around a quarter of the diet.(Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint Photo)

It has been 25 years since economic reforms in India. What has been the effect of liberalization on the average Indian’s diet? Is it any different today than what it was in 1991? Which of the periods saw more changes in our food plate: from Independence to economic reforms or the post-reform period?

The Food Balance Sheet prepared by FAOSTAT, Food and Agricultural Organization’s (FAO’s) database, allows such a comparison for India from 1961 to 2013. To be sure, the database does not tell us whether or not we are eating more pizzas than chapatis. But what it does tell us is how much of what food item (in raw form) is being used for food purposes.

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