Urbanization, processed foods, and eating out in India

Bren d’Amour, C., Pandey, B., Reba, M., Ahmad, S. , Creutzig, F. and Seto, K.C. (2020) Urbanization, processed foods, and eating out in India. Global Food Security, 25, 100361. (doi: 10.1016/j.gfs.2020.100361)

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Urban consumption of processed and fast foods is a challenge to nutrition security. Observed differences in urban versus rural consumption are commonly attributed to higher income levels in urban areas. Yet, there is still no clear understanding of why and how urban dwellers consume differently. Using India as a case study, we analyze expenditures on processed foods and consumption of food away from home (FAFH) of urban, metropolitan, and rural populations using OLS regression models. We show that urban households spend more on processed foods and consume more FAFH than rural households. Most of this difference can be attributed to differing socio-economic and demographic factors, such as higher income, or smaller urban household size. However, even after controlling for these factors, we find differences not only between rural and urban areas but also between different urban areas: households in large metropolitan areas consume more than households in smaller non-metropolitan urban areas. These inter-urban variations suggest that the dichotomy of urban versus rural consumption does not adequately capture the full spectrum of food consumption complexities. Our findings indicate that urbanization is affecting how people consume food beyond shaping their socio-economic and demographic status. We also highlight the need to account for the role of urbanization—beyond an urban-rural dichotomy—when addressing the challenges associated with changing food consumption patterns.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Christopher Bren d’Amour gratefully acknowledges funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the European Union (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-COFUND - grant agreement n° 605728), Bhartendu Pandey from Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and NASA LCLUC grant NNX11AE88G, and Meredith Reba from NASA grant NNX17AH98G.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ahmad, Dr Sohail
Authors: Bren d’Amour, C., Pandey, B., Reba, M., Ahmad, S., Creutzig, F., and Seto, K.C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Global Food Security
ISSN (Online):2211-9124
Published Online:12 March 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V.
First Published:First published in Global Food Security 25: 100361
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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