Caloric Intake and Energy Expenditures in India
No AccessHealth, Nutrition and PopulationNov 2021
Total energy expenditures for the Indian population between 1983 and 2012 are estimated to shed light on the debate concerning falling measured caloric intake during the period (A. Deaton and J. Drèze. 2009. “Food and Nutrition in India: Facts and Interpretations.” Economic and Political Weekly 44(7): 42–65). Anthropometric, time-use, and detailed employment surveys are used to estimate the separate components of total energy expenditure related to metabolism and physical activity levels. Despite a significant drop in adult physical activity levels, total energy expenditures are flat overall between 1983 and 2012. Rising metabolic requirements due to increases in weight dampened the effect of falling activity levels on total energy expenditure. In addition, the 10 percent decline in the population share of children in the period raised average total energy expenditures considerably as children have much lower metabolic requirements and activity levels than adults.
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