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Topic: Nutrition

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Edible insects Future prospects for food and feed security

Insects are often considered a nuisance to human beings and mere pests for crops and animals. Yet this is far from the truth. Insects provide food at low environmental cost, contribute positively to livelihoods, and play a fundamental role in nature. However, these benefits are largely unknown to the public. Contrary to popular belief, insects are not merely “famine foods” eaten in times of food scarcity or when purchasing and harvesting “conventional foods” becomes difficult; many people around the world eat insects out of choice, largely because of the palatability of the insects and their established place in local food cultures.


Arnold van Huis, Joost Van Itterbeeck, Harmke Klunder, Esther Mertens, Afton Halloran,Giulia Muir, and Paul Vantomme


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Implementing Nutrition-Sensitive Development: Reaching Consensus

The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement is an unprecedented, multi-stakeholder global effort to improve maternal and child nutrition. Both the 2008 Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Undernutrition and SUN Framework for Action underscore the importance of both nutrition-specific and nutritionsensitive interventions. Thanks to a large evidence base, nutrition-specific interventions are well-defined. They include treating acute malnutrition, increasing micronutrient intake, and promoting exclusive breastfeeding, addressing the immediate causes of undernutrition. Nutrition-sensitive development addresses the underlying factors that contribute to malnutrition— including hunger, poverty, gender inequality, and poor access to safe water and health services—by integrating nutrition actions into other sectors.2 Unlike nutrition-specific interventions, nutrition-sensitive development lacks a common definition, which is needed for aligning efforts and measuring impact. More research and documentation of proven approaches to integrating nutrition- sensitive actions into multisectoral programs will build the evidence base. This policy brief seeks to contribute to a wider conversation that we hope will lead to some consensus.

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Short-term determinants of malnutrition among children in Malawi


I would like to share with you one of my recently published article.


Short-term determinants of malnutrition among children in Malawi

Food Security: Volume 4, Issue 4 (2012), Page 593-606

Maria Sassi

Abstract Short-term determinants of Severe Acute Malnutrition in children in Malawi during the period 2003 to 2009 were investigated in the three regions that compose Malawi – northern, central and southern – through an OLS approach and a first-order autocorrelation model. Explanatory variables were selected according to the definition of food security provided by the 1996 World Food Summit. Monthly changes in the number of children admitted to Nutrition and Rehabilitation Units was the impact variable adopted. The explanatory variables selected included a proxy of household income spent on food and the monthly variation in domestic price of maize, its trend, cyclical, seasonal and irregular components, informal cross-border imports in maize, urea price, non-food price index, and number of Nutrition and Rehabilitation Units. The study integrates recently developed studies on food insecurity in Malawi with regional and monthly perspectives. Results verify that child malnutrition is a chronic problem fuelled by transitory food insecurity, including seasonal and temporary features, with the common determinant being the market dependence of households on food purchases during the lean season. This impact is exacerbated by regional-specific explanatory variables: the variation in seasonal and irregular maize price components and the non-food price index in the central region, along with the cyclical maize price component and net cross-border maize imports in southern Malawi.


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