Governing the dietary transition

Linking agriculture, nutrition, and health

When it comes to governance, the best policy practices may depend on a country’s stage of development… The same conditions apply for the governance of agriculture, nutrition, and health. Here the best approach may largely depend on a country’s stage in the dietary transition—from a diet low in both calories and micronutrients (accompanied by pervasive undernutrition) to a transitional diet that provides adequate basic energy for most but an inadequate balance of nutrients to an affluent diet that provides excessive calorie energy, accompanied by health problems linked to obesity…

To better understand the wide variety of governance challenges across the agriculture, nutrition, and health sectors, and the equally wide variety of solutions to those challenges, we first consider a range of illustrative cases from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the developed world. We will conclude by identifying a somewhat hidden but common theme at all three stages: the essential integrating role within households of primary caregivers to small children, namely the parents—especially the mother.

Paarlberg, Robert
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International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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