In a resounding confirmation of what has been feared all along, Oxfam has ranked India among the worst in terms of access to quality food. India figures among 30 countries at the bottom of Global Food Index, which considers undernutrition, food prices and food quality. The heap at the bottom comprises mostly African countries along with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Laos.
The index has been compiled by Oxfam, an international aid agency working to alleviate poverty and hunger. It uses data made available by eight sources including the World Health Organisation, Food and Agriculture Organisation and International Labour Organisation.
While India and Pakistan figure 29th and 28th from the bottom, Bangladesh figures 24th from the bottom. The top ten ranks belong to European nations with the Netherlands taking the lead , followed by France, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Austria respectively. The is placed 16th while the US ranks was 21st. Chad, Angola and Ethiopia rank the worst on the index.
Further, India is at the bottom along with Burundi, Yemen, Eritrea and Madagascar for the highest rates of undernutrition and underweight children. On affordability and quality of food, India is not that bad off. But when it comes to people having enough to eat, India sinks to the bottom, showing how food distribution and accessibility are huge problems for the poor. The US scores high on both affordability and quality of food.
Interestingly, Saudi Arabia has the highest rate of obesity. The US along with Mexico, Kuwait, Jordan, Czech Republic and Fiji show very high prevalence of diabetes and obesity. This is ironical as globally, one in eight people goes to bed hungry every night despite enough food for everyone. About 90 Crore people don't have enough to eat while 100 Crore people are obese, pointing to gross disparity in food distribution.