Microeconomic theory of the household and nutrition programs
Lack of food is no longer the major cause of malnutrition. Many households and individuals remain malnourished when income and supplies of food are adequate. Nutrition policy and programs must be based on a sound knowledge of household behaviour patterns. The microeconomic theory of the household focuses on the household's decisionmaking about scarce food resources based upon such considerations as: (i) the size of the family; (ii) the purchasing power of the family; (iii) the availability of healthful foods; (iv) the family's food preferences; (v) environmental variables (such as ethnic traditions and the homemaker's level of education); and finally (vi) family health (disease can limit the absorption of nutrients). Such determinants should be monitored to anticipate malnutrition problems unrelated to the food.
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