In India, caste continues to have a strong association with social class and it plays a visible and critical role in influencing societal, institutional, and household factors, which in turn affect adolescents’ health and nutrition. This study examines intra- and inter-caste differences in physical activity, time use, and food intake among lower-caste adolescents in rural India and contextualizes the results within the local and national policy landscape. Using a mixed-methods design, the study integrates data from wearable activity trackers and key informant interviews to provide comprehensive insights into the lives of 400 rural adolescents in two rural districts in Telangana state. Results disentangle the relationship between lower castes and patterns of time use, physical activity, and calorie adequacy. We find that differences in energy intake and patterns of time use drive differences in the caloric adequacy ratio between castes, particularly among late-adolescent girls. Scheduled Caste (SC) adolescents spend more time and energy on educational activities, while Backward Caste (BC) adolescents spend more time on unpaid economic activities. Within castes, asset endowments appear to mitigate differences in time allocation and energy expenditure. These findings underscore the role of caste in defining pathways to health and nutrition and highlight the need for policy interventions that consider the occupational patterns, physical activity demands, and constraints on access and utilization of resources and infrastructure associated with caste.
The processes of rural transformation can have profound impacts on diets and physical activity patterns and can increase availability of calorie-dense and processed foods options. At the same time, the introduction of technological innovation may modify the intensity of rural livelihood activities. When designing research, policies, and interventions that address the challenges to achieve sustainable diets, there is a need to recognise the holistic nature of shifting lifestyles and the interconnected obesity and environmental crises from a food systems perspective. This chapter showcases a novel approach that integrates data from wearable activity-trackers in a mixed-method study design to further our understanding on the interplay between changing diets and physical activity among adolescents in rural Telangana (India). We also include reflections on the ethical and practical considerations of engaging with adolescents in research. The aim of the chapter is to demonstrate the advantages of engaging with a holistic concept of sustainable lifestyles to address the health challenges adolescents face in rapidly transforming societies.
Using qualitative case study, and unique firm-level survey data in Ghana and Tanzania collected between 2013 and 2015, this chapter analyses the nature and the sources of innovation in both formal and informal sectors. Also, the chapter explores the learning processes underlying innovations as well the various institutional constraints underlying these innovations in Ghana and Tanzania. Our analyses reveal that innovation occurs just about anywhere in Ghana and Tanzania, and innovation is widespread across all sectors, including formal and informal sectors. Our results also show that firms engage in multiple incremental innovations at the same time, enabling firms to gain complementary effects. Knowledge spillover, imitation and adaptation were identified as the main mechanisms through which knowledge is transferred for innovation activities in Ghana and Tanzania.