Improved food system needed to ensure healthier diets: researchers

Staff Correspondent | Published: 01:12, Jul 07,2017

 
 

International Food Policy Research Institute in collaboration with Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands jointly hold a press conference on food systems for healthier diets at a hotel in Dhaka on Thursday. — New Age photo

Researchers of different international organisations on Thursday said that an improved food system to promote diversified crops enriched with nutrition was needed to ensure healthier diets for people.
At a media briefing at a city hotel, they said although nutrition is improving in Bangladesh, many were still consuming diets lacking essential nutrients while others overconsumed nutrient foods, causing problems of diet-related diseases such as diabetes.
‘Improved food system encompassing production of diverse crops, processing of those, distribution, marketing, consumption and checking food waste could ensure healthier diets for people’, said Inge Brouwer, associate professor at Wageningen University, who is leading a research on healthier diets in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nigeria and Ethiopia.
International Food Policy Research Institute together with Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and Wageningen University and Research of Netherlands are carrying out the research.
Inge Brouwer said governments, businesses, civil society groups and consumers have the opportunity to come together and create a plan to support this changing food system to produce and supply diverse nutritious and safe food for healthy lives.
IFPRI country representative Akhter Ahmed said Bangladesh is not focused on production of diversified crops that ensure nutrition.
‘Bangladesh is more focused on producing rice but dietary diversity is key for promoting food system for healthier diets’, he said.
CGIAR director for Agriculture for Nutrition and Health John McDermott said it was not enough to look at individual commodities or policies, rather it is needed to look at how they come together as a system to form a diet and how diets are changing.
Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition senior manager Herbert Smorenburg, Wageningen University professors Ruerd Ruben and Peter Oosterveer and International Centre for Tropical Agriculture researcher Stef de Haan also spoke.

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