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Ebooks on agriculture and the applied life sciences from CAB International

CABI Book Chapter

Improving diets and nutrition: food-based approaches.

Book cover for Improving diets and nutrition: food-based approaches.


This book is composed of 35 papers presented at the 2010 International Symposium on Food and Nutrition Security, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The symposium aimed to document evidence that demonstrates the impact, effectiveness and sustainability of food-based approaches for improving diets and raising levels of nutrition, in order to achieve food ...


Chapter 19 (Page no: 246)

Towards long-term nutrition security: the role of agriculture in dietary diversity.

A major obstacle to securing investments in agriculture and food-based approaches for improving nutrition is providing proof of efficacy. Do food-based approaches lead to reductions in malnutrition? To answer this question we need to develop a credible evidence base that articulates the links in the chain between agricultural policy, food production, access and intake, and nutritional status. This chapter reports on recent research that throws some light on the links between agriculture and dietary diversity, both key in this chain. Findings are presented from Bangladesh, where a study looked at the nutrient composition of rice cultivars; from Kenya and Tanzania, where research was conducted on how crop diversity is related to diet quality; and from Malawi, Kenya and Uganda, where the nutritional diversity of cropping systems was studied. The concept of the 'nutrition gap' - the gap between what foods are grown and available and what foods are needed for a healthy diet - is introduced. The nutrition gap is a useful concept that illustrates the importance of dietary diversity and the better appreciation of how traditional food security models may fall short in their efforts to reduce malnutrition. Increased production of staple crops is typically the main goal and driver of these models. Improvements in nutrition are seen more as a function of purchasing power and increased total energy supply, which is assumed to follow automatically from reductions in income poverty. Narrowing the nutrition gap requires moving past this model to one that includes food and nutrition security. The latter is focused on, inter alia, increasing the consumption of a diversified and high-quality diet, as opposed to just increasing total energy consumption. The chapter provides examples of nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food-based strategies and interventions that can be used to improve dietary diversity within specific agro-ecological zones, and for particular food typologies. Taken together, the evidence and examples illustrate the significant and crucial role that agriculture can play in improving dietary diversity and nutrition in poor country contexts.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) Perspective on nutritional problems in developing countries: nutrition security through community agriculture. Author(s): Latham, M. C.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 8) Food systems and human nutrition: relationships and policy interventions. Author(s): Pinstrup-Andersen, P.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 19) Enhancing the performance of food-based strategies to improve micronutrient status and associated health outcomes in young children from poor-resource households in low-income countries: challenges and solutions. Author(s): Gibson, R. S.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 32) Food-based approaches for combating malnutrition - lessons lost? Author(s): Greiner, T.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 45) Critical issues to consider in the selection of crops in a food-based approach to improve vitamin A status - based on a South African experience. Author(s): Faber, M. Laurie, S. M. Jaarsveld, P. J. van
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 58) Contribution of homestead food production to improved household food security and nutrition status - lessons learned from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal and the Philippines. Author(s): Talukder, A. Osei, A. K. Haselow, N. J. Kroeun, H. Amin Uddin Quinn, V.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 74) The underestimated impact of food-based interventions. Author(s): Darnton-Hill, I.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 89) The current nutritional status in China. Author(s): Chen ChunMing
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 101) Integrating nutrition into agricultural and rural development policies: the Brazilian experience of building an innovative food and nutrition security approach. Author(s): Burlandy, L. Rocha, C. Maluf, R.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 113) The Gender Informed Nutrition and Agriculture (GINA) alliance and the Nutrition Collaborative Research Support Program (NCRSP). Author(s): Lewis, C. J.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 124) Guyana's Hinterland Community-based School Feeding Program (SFP). Author(s): Ismail, S. J. Jarvis, E. A. Borja-Vega, C.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 137) The impact of school food standards on children's eating habits in England. Author(s): Nelson, M. Nicholas, J. Haroun, D. Harper, C. Wood, L. Storey, C. Pearce, J.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 157) Animal source foods as a food-based approach to improve diet and nutrition outcomes. Author(s): Neumann, C. G. Bwibo, N. O. Gewa, C. A. Drorbaugh, N.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 173) Adapting food-based strategies to improve the nutrition of the landless: a review of HKI's homestead food production program in Bangladesh. Author(s): Hillenbrand, E. P. Waid, J. L.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 194) The growing connection project - with a Mexico case study. Author(s): Patterson, B. Álvarez Oyarzábal, M.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 202) Biofortification: a new tool to reduce micronutrient malnutrition. Author(s): Bouis, H. E. Hotz, C. McClafferty, B. Meenakshi, J. V. Pfeiffer, W. H.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 216) Medium-scale fortification: a sustainable food-based approach to improve diets and raise nutrition levels. Author(s): Yiannakis, M. E. Girard, A. W. MacDonald, A. C.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 230) Optimized feeding recommendations and in-home fortification to improve iron status in infants and young children in the Republic of Tajikistan: a pilot project. Author(s): Adrianopoli, M. D'Acapito, P. Ferrari, M. Mistura, L. Toti, E. Maiani, G. Truebswasser, U. Boymatova, K. Severoni, S.
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 268) Building nutritional self-reliance. Author(s): Kent, G.
Chapter: 21 (Page no: 284) Measurement of dietary diversity for monitoring the impact of food-based approaches. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 22 (Page no: 291) Nutrition education and food security interventions to improve complementary feeding in Cambodia. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 23 (Page no: 300) Activities of the Animal Production and Health Division (AGA) of FAO to improve food and nutrition security. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 24 (Page no: 305) The role of the Plant Production and Protection Division (AGP) of FAO in supporting crop diversification for sustainable diets and nutrition. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 25 (Page no: 311) Impact of the work of the Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division (AGS) of FAO on improving food and nutrition security. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 26 (Page no: 320) Work of the Agricultural Development Economics Division (ESA) of FAO on nutrition. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 27 (Page no: 325) Towards an improved framework for measuring undernourishment. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 28 (Page no: 328) Gender dimensions of food and nutrition security: women's roles in ensuring the success of foodbased approaches. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 29 (Page no: 335) Food-based approaches for improving diets and raising levels of nutrition: the fish story. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 30 (Page no: 343) Forestry in improving food security and nutrition. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 31 (Page no: 351) Legal and institutional aspects of food and nutrition security. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 32 (Page no: 356) Food and agriculture-based approaches to safeguarding nutrition before, during and after emergencies: the experience of FAO. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 33 (Page no: 362) Lessons from support given to the implementation of food security programmes in over 100 countries: the feasibility of integrated food and nutrition security (F&NS) approaches. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 34 (Page no: 371) Using information networks to promote improved nutrition and rural development: FAO's experience of promoting school milk programmes. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 35 (Page no: 374) FAO support to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) process. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.
Chapter: 36 (Page no: 381) Selected findings and recommendations from the symposium. Author(s): Thompson, B. Amoroso, L.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2014
  • ISBN
  • 9781780642994
  • Record Number
  • 20143140805