Seminar Papers, Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University
841 Million Undernourished? On the Tyranny of Deriving a Number
Abstract: The FAO provides estimates of the prevalence of
undernutrition which are claimed to be comparable over countries and time.
These estimates form the empirical foundation for the resolution adopted by
186 governments at the World Food summit in 1996, with the intent of
reducing the number of undernourished people by half before the year 2015.
In this paper, it is demonstrated that the FAO estimates are unreliable
indicators of the scope of the undernutrition problem, that they
erroneously find chronic undernutrition to be most prevalent in Africa, and
that they tend to direct policy in the wrong direction. Anthropometric
measurements are argued to be more reliable and relevant for all purposes
for which indicators of undernutrition are needed.
Keywords: UNdernutrition; Measurements; FAO; Africa; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: I12; J13; O19; Q11; (follow links to similar papers)
48 pages, October 10, 1998
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- This paper is published as:
Svedberg, Peter, (1999), '841 Million Undernourished?', World Development, Vol. 27, December, No. 12, pages 2081-2098
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