According to one study, the COVID-19 The outbreak and subsequent lockdown disrupted agricultural supply networks, which had a significant impact on the nutrition of women in the country. The study, published in the journal Economia Politica, found that women’s dietary diversity (the number of food groups consumed) decreased from 2014 to 2019, despite exempting food value chains and related businesses from the ban.
Researcher at the Tata Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Food (TCI) in New Delhi discovered that the decline was related to lower consumption of foods rich in micronutrients essential for optimal health and development, such as meat, eggs, vegetables and fruits.
“Any policy addressing the impact of the pandemic on nutritional outcomes must be done through a gender perspective that reflects the specific and often persistent vulnerabilities of women,” said Soumya Gupta, research economist at TCI who co-authored the study.
The study also found that the closure of anganwadi Centers during lockdown contributed to a disproportionate burden on women. The centers that provide take-away rations and hot cooked meals to breastfeeding and expectant mothers are an important source of nutrition for women and children. According to data from 155 households surveyed, 72 percent of eligible households lost access to Anganwadi services during the pandemic.
According to the study, price changes resulted from disruptions in the agricultural supply networks, especially for non-basic goods. Almost 90% of respondents said they ate less and 95% said they eat fewer different types of foods. The researchers recorded the greatest decline in food expenditure for micronutrient-rich fresh and dried fruits as well as animal products such as meat, fish and eggs.
Many factors, including money, bargaining power, social standing, interpersonal relationships, tastes and preferences, have been linked to gender differences in food distribution around the world, according to researchers.
The unequal distribution of food in households is also linked to the role of women in different family structures, including women who eat after the rest of the family has eaten, they added.
(News input: India Times)
Women’s diets suffered badly during the pandemic due to a lack of food diversity
The study, published in the journal Economia Politica, found that women’s dietary diversity (the number of food groups consumed) decreased from 2014 to 2019, despite exempting food value chains and related businesses from the ban.
TPT news bureau
THE POLITICS TIMES