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The 'Million-Dollar Question': Why Does Hunger Stalk India?

By Mehul Srivastava - 2012-10-25T09:46:33Z

Photograph by Sanjit Das/Bloomberg

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Worsening Diet

Later, when I showed photographs of the meals to Rachita Singh, a nutritionist at the Saket Max Hospital in New Delhi, she estimated they would provide about 1,700 to 1,800 calories a day. This diet, heavy in cereals and other carbohydrate-based calories, is what most rural Indians eat.

In 2010, 64 percent of the calories consumed by villagers came from cereals, about 9 percent from oils and fats and less than 5 percent each from sugar and pulses like the lentils we ate. Fruit and vegetables, meat, eggs and fish together made up about 2.5 percent, according to studies of meals across rural India by the statistics ministry.