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An International Nutrition Index

Concept and Analyses of Food Insecurity and Undernutrition at Country Levels


Doris Wiesmann

Hunger and malnutrition are the plight of millions of people, especially in developing countries. This study argues that the lack of a comprehensive measure for nutrition and food security has impeded progress towards eradicating hunger and undernutrition. The author seeks to fill this gap by designing an international Nutrition Index (NI). Using this NI, the study ranks 106 countries and analyses patterns and trends in their nutrition situation. The correlations between the NI and other international indicators show its ability to reflect micronutrient deficiencies as well as its sensitivity to poverty and inequality. Multivariate regressions reveal that the NI tends to improve with economic development and the amelioration of health services, whereas warfare has detrimental effects.
Contents: Theory of International Comparisons – The Concept of the Nutrition Index (NI) – Data and Methodology – Nutrition Index: Ranking and Trends – Nutrition Index (NI) and other International Indicators – Determinants of NI Variation.