Indians have consumed less calories every year starting from 1972-73, in both rural and urban areas.
The latest report on Nutritional Intake in India, released on Thursday by the National Sample Survey Organisation, also shows a decline in the consumption of protein in both rural and urban areas since 1999-2000.
“This declining consumption is a sign that India’s overall nutrition levels are not improving,” said Santosh Mehrotra, a consultant on rural development issues with the Planning Commission.
“India does have the worst nutrition levels in the world, and the lower consumption implies high prices of food that has resulted in a change in dietary habits,” he claimed.
The report found that consumption of protein has declined to 57grams a day per person in rural areas in 2004-05 compared with about 59 grams in 1999-2000.
In urban India, over the same time, protein consumption fell from 58.5% to 57% in 2004-05.
The daily per person fat intake in urban and rural areas, which had been steadily rising since the 1970s, has also fallen in 2004-05, from 36gm in rural areas to 35.5gm and nearly 50gm in urban areas to 47.5 gm.