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Nutrition under rapid urbanization

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Marie Ruel
IFPRI-FAO conference, "Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition"
November 28–30, 2018
Bangkok, Thailand

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Nutrition under rapid urbanization

  1. 1. Nutrition under Rapid Urbanization Plenary Session: Nourishing Cities to Speed Progress Marie Ruel, IFPRI November 30, 2018 Bangkok, Thailand
  2. 2. Urbanization continues to accelerate Projected urban share of global population Urban 67% 20502014 Urban 54% Growth of urban population in major regions 2.8 Billion people 90% Asia & Africa
  3. 3. 2 BILLION adults are overweight or obese 38 MILLION children are overweight 2 BILLION people lack key micronutrients like iron and vitamin A, Zinc 151 MILLION children are stunted 51 MILLION children are wasted Sources: UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Group 2018 MALNUTRITION COMES IN MANY FORMS
  4. 4. Urban malnutrition Urban dwellers suffer from all forms of malnutrition 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Underweight Overweight Rural Urban slum Urban non-slum 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Urban Rural Urban Rural 1 2 3 4 5 Overweight Nguyen et al. forthcoming Van Wesenbeeck et al. 2018 % % Income Quintile Underweight West Africa (16 countries)India 2016 46%
  5. 5. Urban diets The nutrition transition is accelerating in cities The “nutrition transition” is characterized by: changes from traditional diets: rich in coarse grains, staple cereals, and pulses to: to more modern diets: more diverse, including more animal sourced foods (meat, dairy), oils, refined cereals, added sugars, saturated fats, processed and ultra-processed foods Photos: Michelle Holdsworth, U. Sheffield; Ghana
  6. 6. Why are urban diets changing? Supply and demand factors ❖ Globalization and trade liberalization have changed urban food environments: o Types & nature of foods available, prices, aggressive promotion & marketing of select foods and beverages (oils, ultra-processed foods, sugar-sweetened beverages) o Purchasing options: fresh, frozen, packaged; fast food restaurants, supermarkets ❖ Changes in income, lifestyle, exposure to marketing affect food choices o Employment, work away from home, women’s time, limited access to cooking facilities – need for convenience; eating away from home; fast food, street foods o Greater exposure to food marketing and advertising, changes in social norms, desirability of modern foods and diets
  7. 7. Source: Barry Popkin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; data from Euromonitor International Limited 2018 Ultra-processed foods Trends in sales in select Asian countries (2005-2017) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 China Malaysia Philippines Thailand India Gramspercapitaperday Sweet Biscuits, Snack Bars and Fruit Snacks Salty Snacks Confectionery Cakes & pastries Philippines Thailand India China Malaysia Grams/capita/day
  8. 8. Source: Baker and Friel, 2014 Ultra-processed foods Trends in sales in Asian countries, by level of GDP 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Japan Singapore South Korea Taiwan 1999 2006 2012 2017 Indonesia Philippines India Vietnam Pakistan 1999 2006 2012 2017 Kg/capita/y Higher-Income Lower-Middle-Income
  9. 9. Ultra-processed foods (UPF) Diet and health risks Sources: Cediel et al. 2017; Steele et al. 2017; Monteiro et al. 2017 % Energy from protein (USA) % Energy from added sugar (Chile) Obesity (13 European countries) % Energy intake from UPF % Energy intake from UPF % Household availability of UPF
  10. 10. Conclusions ❖ In urban areas, the most accessible, affordable, convenient diets are often the most unhealthy ❖ Poor diets are associated with all forms of malnutrition ❖ Proposed accelerator: Redirect urban food environments towards healthier diets and achieve Double Duty o Make healthy foods/diets available, accessible, affordable, desirable o Shift the demand towards healthier foods and diets through serious investments in education, “aggressive promotion” and innovative and behavior change communications approaches

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