Food insecurity and child and adolescent development in India

Principal Investigator: Dr Elisabetta Aurino

Funder: Imperial College Research Fellowship

Duration: 2020-2024

Website: imperial.ac.uk

Food security and healthy child and adolescent development are key global challenges, as underscored by the Sustainable Development Goals. These challenges are particularly critical in India, which bears the highest burden of food insecurity globally, and where half of the country’s 1.25 billion population is below 25 years. Despite the policy relevance of these issues in India (reflected in the 2013 Food Security Act and 2014 Youth Policy), no extant research investigated the relationship between food insecurity and young people’s development in India or other developing countries. This is a critical gap as studies from advanced economies have shown that food insecure children experience many negative consequences over their life-course, which cause long-term losses in productivity, income and health, and decreased societal welfare. This project tackles this key gap by combining various sources of longitudinal data in order to assess the impact of food insecurity on multiple aspects of young people’s development such as education, psycho-social health and health risk behaviours, as well as intergenerational transmission of health.