The State of Food and Agriculture 2013

Food Systems for Better Nutrition

image of The State of Food and Agriculture 2013

Malnutrition in all its forms -- undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity -- imposes unacceptably high economic and social costs on countries at all income levels. This edition of The State of Food and Agriculture argues that improving nutrition and reducing these costs must begin with food and agriculture. The traditional role of agriculture in producing food and generating income is fundamental, but agriculture and the entire food system -- from inputs and production, through processing, storage, transport and retailing, to consumption -- can contribute much more to the eradication of malnutrition.



Helping consumers achieve better nutrition

To improve nutritional outcomes, food systems need to provide consumers with abundant, affordable, diverse and nutritious foods, and consumers need to choose balanced diets that provide adequate but not excessive amounts of energy. Previous chapters have discussed ways to make food systems more supportive of food security and better nutrition. Nutrition-sensitive food systems can give consumers better options, but ultimately it is consumers who choose what they eat. What consumers choose to eat influences their own nutritional outcomes and sends signals back through the food system – to retailers, processors and producers – that shape both what is produced and how sustainably it is produced.


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