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Cornell University

Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition

Healthy Diets Are Too Expensive for Most Indians

This policy brief presents the findings of a TCI study assessing the cost of the EAT-Lancet diet in India. The study reveals a significant gap between current food consumption and the EAT-Lancet diet in India. The EAT-Lancet diet costs $3-5 per person per day in rural India, depending on the season, while the average individual in rural India spends only $1 per day on food. 

Based on these findings, TCI recommends that Indian policymakers: 

  • Promote crop diversification to increase the availability and affordability of nutrition-rich foods.
  • Invest in well-functioning markets and rural supply chain infrastructure.
  • Increase demand for and consumption of nutritious foods through behavior change communication campaigns, women’s empowerment, and food safety net programs like PDS.

Read the policy brief (PDF)