The Costs of Persisting Adult Undernutrition



Nutrition and poverty are closely interlinked. Undernourished people cannot achieve their full potential—mental or physical—and are thus denied the opportunity of earning enough to lift themselves and their families out of the stranglehold of poverty. The repercussions of poor nutrition are even more serious in the case of women, who pass on the impacts of their undernourished status to the next generation perpetuating the cycle of undernutrition, ill health, incapacity and poverty. This chapter reviews the impacts of undernutrition on work capacity and income with a view to assessing the costs of undernutrition to economies in South and South East Asia with a special focus on India at the sub-national level. The objective is to make a case for the urgency of addressing undernutrition if poverty alleviation is the goal and if the benefits of anti-poverty strategies are to reach the groups for whom they are intended.


Gross Domestic Product Work Capacity Nutrition Outcome South East Asian Country Global Evidence 


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© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent Development ConsultantGurgaonIndia

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