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This paper uses data from national household expenditure surveys to explore whether food insecurity ismore severe in South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa. It employs two indicators of the diet quantitydimension of food insecurity, or the inability to access sufficient food: the prevalence of food energydeficiency and the prevalence of severe food energy deficiency. It also employs two indicators of the dietquality dimension, indicating lack of access to nutritious food: the prevalence of low diet diversity andthe percent of energy from staple foods. It finds the regions’ food energy deficiency prevalences to bequite close (51 percent in South Asia, 57 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa). However, the prevalence ofsevere food energy deficiency, which is more life threatening, is higher in Sub-Saharan Africa (51 percentversus 35 percent in South Asia). From a diet quality standpoint, the regions appear to suffer from acomparable and high reliance on staple foods in the diet to the neglect of foods rich in protein andmicronutrients, but that Sub-Saharan Africa may be doing worse, as reflected in less diverse diets. Theresults confirm that both regions suffer from deep food insecurity problems but point to Sub-SaharanAfrica as the region with the more severe problem, particularly when it comes to the diet quantitydimension of food insecurity. In deciding which region should be given greater emphasis in theinternational allocation of scarce development resources, the fact that the numbers of people affected byfood insecurity are higher in South Asia should be taken into consideration.

Keywords: food security ; food energy deficiency ; diet quality ; Sub-Saharan Africa ; SouthAsia

Subject(s): Food Security and Poverty

Issue Date: 2007

Publication Type: Working or Discussion Paper

PURL Identifier: http://purl.umn.edu/42401

Total Pages: 52

Series Statement: IFPRI Discussion Paper

00712

Record appears in: CGIAR > International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) > IFPRI Discussion Papers





Autor: Smith, Lisa C. ; Wiesmann, Doris M.

Fuente: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/42401?ln=en



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