An Assessment of Intra-household Allocation of Food: A Case Study of the Urban Poor in Kandy

Malnutrition among children and women continues to be one of the major problems in Sri Lanka despite the food and nutritional intervention programs implemented since independence. The objectives of this study were to find out whether there is calorie malnutrition among the urban poor in Kandy and to find out the determinants of the intra-household allocation of calories. Calorie adequacy ratios of fathers, mothers and children were compared to find out whether there is calorie malnutrition among family members. Relative calorie allocation of individuals was regressed with socio-economic variables to find the determinants of the intra-household calorie allocation. Primary data collected using a structured questionnaire from sixty households in the lower income group in urban Kandy was used for the analysis. Results show that there was a significant difference among calorie adequacy ratios of fathers, mothers and children. Fathers have the highest and children have the lowest mean calorie adequacy ratios. Regression results indicate that income of mother and family size have significant positive and negative impacts respectively on mother’s relative calorie allocation. Results also show that there was an age and gender biased calorie allocation within the family. Income of mother had a negative effect on children’s calorie allocation. Though expansion in employment opportunities could alleviate malnutrition among women, it may aggravate malnutrition among children.

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Sri Lankan Journal of Agricultural Economics, 04
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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