Documenting the food insecurity experiences and nutritional status of women in India: Study protocol
journal contributionposted on 2020-05-26, 00:00 authored by Fiona McKayFiona McKay, P John, A Sims, G Kaur, J Kaushal
Background: Despite significant growth and change in India over the past two decades, some public health indicators have failed to keep pace. One such indicator is food insecurity. India is home to the largest number of people experiencing hunger and food insecurity. Food security is described as “a situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”. While there has been considerable research investigating the role of crop yields, policy interventions, and food production in alleviating food insecurity in India, there is insufficient research investigating the social and cultural influences of food insecurity, including the role of women. The primary aim of this research is to investigate the experience of food insecurity among women in India. The objectives of this research are (1) to determine the role of women in food production and its contribution to household food security; (2) to examine the gender roles within households and the decision-making processes that influence food security, and (3) to investigate household nutritional status and food insecurity experience. Methods: Participants will include women who live in a village in Punjab, India. Interviews with 100 households, drawn from a convenience sample will be conducted. Interviews will be conducted in Punjabi with simultaneous English translation, and will include: food related experiences, anthropometric measurements (weight, height, waist, and hip) and dietary assessment (24-h diet recall, two non-consecutive days), dwelling facilities, agriculture related information, including household agriculture activities undertaken, food security status (via the United States Department of Agriculture Household Food Security Scale Measurement), and demographic information. Discussion: This study aims to investigate a range of determinants of food insecurity among a rural population. It will allow for the identification of some of the components of household food insecurity among women in India and will go part of the way to understanding how and why India continues to experience food and nutritional insecurity despite growth and progress in a range of other indicators.