The Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition: The Role of Food, Agriculture, and Targeted Policies

ISBN : 9780198733201

David E. Sahn
528 Pages
163 x 240 mm
Pub date
Jun 2015
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Advances in science and policy during the past 50 years have prevented the predicted widespread food shortages as the world's population soared. Malnutrition, however, remains prevalent. This book details strategies and practical approaches designed to alleviate hunger and malnutrition in a new era where technological change, markets, patterns of governance, and social programs have an increasingly global dimension. More specifically, this book addresses a range of considerations including the role of small farmers in a world where the global reach of multinational corporations have enormous control from the farm to local markets and the grocery store; misgivings and misperceptions about genetically modified foods; the increasing competition of food and energy sectors for agricultural output; the importance of micronutrient deficiencies and chronic disease related to obesity, which often coexists in the same communities as hunger; and issues of sustainability of the food and agricultural system in an period when there is increasing concerns over global warming and environmental degradation. Currently there is also more emphasis on evidence-based policymaking, which has raised the standard of proof for evaluating the impact of micro-level interventions that have traditionally been so widely embraced and are now under increased scrutiny. It is in this context that this book provides practical advice on programs that can effectively target those at greatest risk of malnutrition and guidance on policies to promote a healthy and sustainable food and agricultural system. Overlaying all of these challenges is the book's emphasis on both identifying data and information needs for decision-making, and practical considerations for better understanding the domestic and international political and social constraints that need to be addressed when trying to translate scientific knowledge and information into practice.


1. Using Height-For-Age Difference instead of Height-For-Age Z-Scores for the Meaningful Measurement of Catch-up Growth in Children Less Than 5 years of Age
2. Can Transfer Programs Be Made More Nutrition Sensitive?
3. The Micronutrient Deficiencies Challenge in African Food Systems
4. The Internationalization of the Obesity Epidemic: The Case of Sugar-Sweetened Sodas
5. Evidence-Informed Policymaking: Lessons from food Security and Nutrition Monitoring Systems During Food Crises
6. Access to Adequate Nutritious Food: New Indicators to Track Progress and Inform Action
7. Agriculture For Nutrition: Getting Policies Right
8. Is Small Farm Led Development Still a Relevant Strategy for Africa and Asia?
9. Agricultural R&D, Food Prices, Poverty, and Malnutrition redux
10. Bioeconomy: Science and Technology Policy to Harmonize Biologization of Economies with Food Security
11. Global and Local Food Systems in the GM Labeling Campaign
12. Population Increases and Agricultural Productivity
13. Ending Hunger and Undernutrition by 2025: Accelerating the Pace
14. The Present Pattern of Growth, Inequality, and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa
15. Social Mobilization and Food Security: The Contribution of Organized Civil Society to Hunger Reduction Policies in Latin America
16. Distributional Impacts of the 2008 Global Food Price Spike in Vietnam
17. Independence Or Influence: Tradeoffs in Development Policy Research
18. Who Makes Global Food Policy?
19. The Implications of a Changing Climate on Global Nutrition Security

About the author: 

David E. Sahn is an International Professor of Economics in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and the Department of Economics at Cornell University. He has a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan. His main academic interest is in identifying the solutions to poverty, malnutrition, and disease in developing countries, as well as the determinants of human capital and the role of education and skills in labor market and other social and demographic outcomes. In addition to teaching and mentoring of graduate students, he devotes considerable efforts to training and capacity building of research institutions in Africa and working with government officials and international organizations to integrate research findings into policy.

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