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      The Role of Food and Nutrition System Approaches in Tackling Hidden Hunger


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          One of the World’s greatest challenges is to secure sufficient and healthy food for all, and to do so in an environmentally sustainable manner. This review explores the interrelationships of food, health, and environment, and their role in addressing chronic micronutrient deficiencies, also known as “hidden hunger”, affecting over two billion people worldwide. While the complexity and underlying determinants of undernutrition have been well-understood for decades, the scaling of food and nutrition system approaches that combine sustainable agriculture aimed at improved diet diversity and livelihoods have been limited in their development and implementation. However, an integrated system approach to reduce hidden hunger could potentially serve as a sustainable opportunity.

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          Operationalizing dietary diversity: a review of measurement issues and research priorities.

          Dietary diversity (DD) is universally recognized as a key component of healthy diets. There is still, however, a lack of consensus on how to measure and operationalize DD. This article reviews published literature on DD, with a focus on the conceptual and operational issues related to its measurement in developing countries. Findings from studies of the association between DD and individual nutrient adequacy, child growth and/or household socioeconomic factors are summarized. DD is usually measured using a simple count of foods or food groups over a given reference period, but a number of different groupings, classification systems and reference periods have been used. This limits comparability and generalizability of findings. The few studies that have validated DD against nutrient adequacy in developing countries confirm the well-documented positive association observed in developed countries. A consistent positive association between dietary diversity and child growth is also found in a number of countries. Evidence from a multicountry analysis suggests that household-level DD diversity is strongly associated with household per capita income and energy availability, suggesting that DD could be a useful indicator of food security. The nutritional contribution of animal foods to nutrient adequacy is indisputable, but the independent role of animal foods relative to overall dietary quality for child growth and nutrition remains poorly understood. DD is clearly a promising measurement tool, but additional research is required to improve and harmonize measurement approaches and indicators. Validation studies are also needed to test the usefulness of DD indicators for various purposes and in different contexts.
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            Food security: definition and measurement

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                Author and article information

                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
                February 2011
                31 January 2011
                : 8
                : 2
                : 358-373
                [1 ] Department of Economics, Roma Tre University, Via Silvio D’Amico 77, 00145, Rome, Italy; E-Mail: fburchi@ 123456uniroma3.it (F.B.)
                [2 ] Bioversity International, Via dei Tre Denari 472/a, 00057 Maccarese, Roma, Italy; E-Mail: e.frison@ 123456cgiar.org (E.F.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: j.fanzo@ 123456cgiar.org ; Tel. +39-06-6118227; Fax. +39-06-61979661.
                © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

                : 15 December 2010
                : 21 January 2011
                : 25 January 2011

                Public health
                agriculture,hidden hunger,undernutrition,food security,food and nutrition systems,food-based strategies


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