Gender differentials in food consumption and dietary diversity among Indian adults and couples

Preeti Dhillon, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Kabita Khatun, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai

This study attempts to understand the pattern of consumption of different food groups and factors associated with dietary diversity among adult men, women, and with gender gaps in dietary diversity in Indian couples. Data for this analysis were obtained from the National Family Health Survey 2015–16 (NFHS-4). An analytical sample was 6,99,686 women aged 15-49 years and 1,12,122 men aged 15-54 years, and 63,696 couples of reproductive age. Considering the frequency of the seven food groups, we constructed the dietary diversity score. Findings suggest that only 25% of men as compared to 32% of women did not consume milk/curd. Similarly, there were pro-men gender gaps in the consumption of eggs, and other non-veg food. Individuals who had control over the resource like land owned house by jointly and alone, spend respondent earning had a more diverse diet. Similarly, decision-making also influences their dietary diversity positively. The dietary diversity score was lower (-0.07, p<0.05) among couples where wife was more educated than husband and where only wife was working (-0.08, p<0.1) than their counterparts. The gender gap in dietary diversity was lower among the couples where the wife owns a house or land or decide on large household purchases.

Keywords: Gender, Demographic and social surveys, Inequality

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 106. Gender Disparities and Disadvantage: Perspectives from India