Poverty and Undernutrition

Theory, Measurement, and Policy

A large share of the population in many developing countries suffer from chronic undernutrition. In this book, Professor Svedberg provides a detailed comparative study of undernutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the two worst affected areas, and provides crucial advice for all those concerned in development worldwide. The book concentrates on the five challenges that undernutrition creates: what undernutrition is, who the undernourished are, where the undernourished are, when people are undernourished, and why people are undernourished. The book is divided into five parts: Part I introduces the main paradigms and controversies of undernutrition; Part II deals with the relationship in the individual between calorie intake/expenditure, work effort, body weight, and income; Part III assesses the method of defining and measuring undernutrition based on estimates of gaps between calorie intake and calorie requirements for households; Part IV provides a parallel analysis of the main alternative approach to defining and measuring undernutrition, based on anthropometric assessment, mainly of young children, but also adolescents and adults; Part V analyses the consequences and causes of anthropometric failure, as well as the related policy issues.

Table of contents
  1. Part I
    1. Background and Introduction
    Peter Svedberg
  2. Part I
    2. Characterization and Measurement of Undernutrition: Controversies and Consensus
    Peter Svedberg
  3. Part II
    3. A Model of Nutrition and Economic Productivity
    Peter Svedberg
  4. Part II
    4. Related Empirical Evidence
    Peter Svedberg
  5. Part III
    5. Undernutrition: The FAO Estimates
    Peter Svedberg
  6. Part III
    6. Calorie Availability in Sub-Saharan Africa
    Peter Svedberg
  7. Part III
    7. Calorie Intake and Distribution
    Peter Svedberg
  8. Part III
    8. Minimum Calorie-Expenditure Requirements for Individuals
    Peter Svedberg
  9. Part III
    9. From Individual Calorie Requirements to Per-Capita Calorie Cut-Off Points
    Peter Svedberg
  10. Part III
    10. Aggregate Estimations of Prevalence of Undernutrition: Scope for Improvements?
    Peter Svedberg
  11. Part IV
    11. Anthropometric Indicators of Undernutrition: Measurements and Evidence
    Peter Svedberg
  12. Part IV
    12. Anthropometric Indicators: Measurement and Selection Biases?
    Peter Svedberg
  13. Part IV
    13. Anthropometric Status: An Incomplete Indicator of Undernutrition
    Peter Svedberg
  14. Part IV
    14. Anthropometric Failure: Morbidity and Mortality Risks
    Peter Svedberg
  15. Part V
    15. Reasons for Child Mortality and Anthropometric Failure
    Peter Svedberg
  16. Part V
    16. Excess Mortality, Economic Growth, and Public Action in Sub-Saharan Africa
    Peter Svedberg
  17. Part V
    17. Growth, Public Action, and Well-Being: What Can Sub-Saharan Africa Learn from Others?
    Peter Svedberg
  18. Part V
    18. Synthesis and Conclusions
    Peter Svedberg
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This is one of the few books that address all major issues in the area of undernutrition with an admirable comprehensiveness, clarity and competence ... this is a rich and definitive study of the links between undernutrition and poverty ... this is a book of considerable originality and scholarship, and sets standards of analytical rigour that will be hard to surpass in further work on the links between undernutrition and poverty.' - Development and Change

'Svedberg's case is well argued ... This is an impressive book, fully justifying the ringing endorsement it receives in Professor Amartya Sen's Foreword. Apart from providing the most comprehensive exposition to date on the 'FAO-WHO debate', it presents complex technical material on the economics of nutrition accessibly for the non-specialist, and addresses other topical policy debates in this area, notably the relationship between poverty and nutrition status.' - The Journal of Development Studies