People who are food insecure are disproportionally affected by diet-sensitive chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and according to research, food insecurity is also linked to many adverse effects to overall health.
For children, food insecurity is particularly devastating.
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The worst food crisis since 1974 broke out in 2007-08.
Higher world market prices of food commodities (especially wheat, rice, soya and maize) sparked an unprecedented increase in the number of hungry people.These Western big-box retailers would have brought with them expertise in supply chain management.The influx of desperately needed fresh thinking and innovation into the agricultural and food supply business would have expedited changes downstream, helping alleviate malnutrition.However, inefficiencies in the downstream segments of the food supply chain are still rampant, and threaten to undermine self-sufficiency and perpetuate malnutrition.For example, inefficiency in the tomato business, according to the editor of the , results in as much as 20 percent of tomatoes rotting in transit, while the price for consumers is marked up by as much as 60 percent. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute’s 2011 Global Hunger Index, the upshot of this perennial problem is that about 60 million children in India are underweight and malnourished, while 21 percent of the population as a whole general is malnourished.Unfortunately, this problem is unlikely to change anytime soon, with the recent introduction of the National Food Security Bill threatening to continue market inefficiencies in food supply and extend the problem of malnutrition far into the future.The developmental repercussions of this situation are dramatic, not only for individuals who suffer numerous health issues resulting from malnutrition, but also for the economy at large.Malnutrition results in a loss of productivity, indirect losses from impaired cognitive development, and losses from increased longterm healthcare costs. , in which he showed that famine was rarely the result of a lack of food, but rather the result of intervening economic factors, such as unemployment, declining wages, and, as is often the case in India, poor food distribution systems.Even more disappointing than the politicized nature of the National Food Security Bill is the fact that revisions to FDI rules are exactly the type of legislative changes necessary to start rapid improvement in the food supply chain, negating the need for the bill in the first place.The result of allowing increased FDI would have been to move firms such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour into the Indian market.