Changing Food Consumption Patterns: Implications for Nutrition and Livelihoods

This report presents a review results on the trends and patterns in food intake and nutritional status of the poor rural and urban households of Bangladesh during the period 1991-2000. It then looks at the socio-economic changes that have occurred during the last decade that have affected the food consumption pattern and the development of the food system. The 1990s were marked by a substantial increase in food production, however, the country is yet to achieve desired nutritional levels. The 1990s also saw substantial economic growth, with an associated decline in the incidence of both absolute poverty and extreme poverty. In 2000 the food intake of the poor was as low and imbalanced as it was in 1991. With the changes in food production and consumption, the total food system in Bangladesh is also changing. The growth of urban middle-income groups due to economic growth has created the demand for higher-value products such as livestock products, fruits and vegetables. Increasing urbanization and industrialization has also encouraged market expansion for food products and increased market dependence for certain households. A more integrated food transportation network has developed which have increased the length of supply chains and the volume of food supplied. The integration of Bangladesh with the global economy expanded both the legal and illegal trade which have implications on the availability of food produce, dietary diversity, price stabilization, and employment opportunities in the expanding sector.

Authors: Halder, Shantana; Urey, Ian
Type: Report
Year: 2003