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Abstract

Food insecurity remains a significant problem in India, especially among women and children. The purpose of this paper is to measure food security and describe associated factors in rural Rajasthan, India. Pregnant women and women with young children belonging to self-help groups were surveyed for this study. Factors associated with food insecurity for both women and children included increased poverty, low dietary diversity, belonging to a tribe, and failing to save money to cover food expenses. For women, using more coping strategies and having a husband who made decisions about how money the woman earned was used were associated with food insecurity, while not having received food from an Integrated Child Development Service center was associated with food insecurity in children. These findings suggest that actions for improving food security may include facilitating saving for food needs, improving decision-making power among women, and increasing ties to organizations that cater to child development needs.

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