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The Fight Against Hunger and MalnutritionThe Role of Food, Agriculture, and Targeted Policies$
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David E. Sahn

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733201.001.0001

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Access to Adequate Nutritious Food: New Indicators to Track Progress and Inform Action

Access to Adequate Nutritious Food: New Indicators to Track Progress and Inform Action

(p.139) 6 Access to Adequate Nutritious Food: New Indicators to Track Progress and Inform Action
The Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition

Anna Herforth

Oxford University Press

New indicators are needed for global monitoring of access to and consumption of adequate nutritious food. These indicators would fill a basic information gap necessary to understand the causes of malnutrition, and to inform policy options to support food security and nutrition. Globally collected indicators of food security have remained virtually unchanged since the 1960s, largely derived from the single indicator of national-level dietary energy supply. This simple and unidimensional characterization of “food” was a guidepost toward pressing needs 50 years ago, but it is no longer adequate for the nutritional realities of today’s food systems, or the worldwide distribution of nutritional problems. Suggestions are made for how new indicators of food access and dietary quality can be mainstreamed in the nutrition and agriculture data sets and parlance, to shift the generalized construction of “food” from one of caloric adequacy to one of nutritious food to meet dietary needs.

Keywords:   food security, global monitoring, indicators, food access, dietary quality, policy, nutrition and agriculture, food system

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