Undernutrition: The FAO Estimates

Peter Svedberg

in Poverty and Undernutrition

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780198292685
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596957 | DOI:

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

 Undernutrition: The FAO Estimates

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In this chapter, the most well‐known model used for estimating the prevalence of undernutrition worldwide is presented. This is the model proposed by the FAO and applied for monitoring the progress towards the UN Millennium objective: to reduce undernutrition by half before 2015. The model comprises three main building blocks: the national food (calorie) supply, a function for the distribution of calories across households, and a norm for what is the lowest acceptable per person calorie intake in households. The main statistical data used by the FAO to estimate the model are presented. Finally, a simple robustness test is provided, demonstrating that the FAO estimates of undernutrition are highly sensitive even to small variations in the values attached to the three key parameters.

Keywords: calorie norm; calorie supply; distribution; FAO; monitoring; robustness test; undernutrition

Chapter.  5314 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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