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August 29th, 2018

Urban food security in the context of inequality and dietary change: A study of school children in Accra

Published by UWE Bristol,

This study (PDF) by the UWE Bristol explores food security in the context of inequality and dietary change in schoolchildren in Accra. The study aims to bridge a divide between micro-level analyses of food consumption and macro-level studies of food systems, and seek to contextualise children’s food consumption patterns in the broad picture of global dietary change. Diets are changing globally, as agricultural and food systems have become globalised and created new forms of food production, distribution, and trade. Understanding how patterns of globalisation affect the welfare of populations is a key development question, but little is known about the way that the globalisation of food and agriculture systems affect different individuals or groups. This study shows that socio-economic status is a critical dimension of food security and food consumption, with poorer children more vulnerable to food insecurity and narrow dietary diversity. However, consumption of packaged and processed foods, often sugar-rich and nutrient-poor, cuts across wealth groups. In the 1990s, the question of urban food security was seen as embedded in that of urban poverty. The article argues that the urban food security question today is defined by two intersecting phenomena: intra-urban inequality and global dietary change. The urban poor continue to face the fundamental challenge of adequate food access. In addition, urban food security is endangered by a food environment that provides consumers with unhealthy food options that are widely available, cheap and enticing. Therefore urban food security can no longer be addressed only through agricultural policies that ensure availability of affordable staples for a growing urban population, but it strongly needs agricultural and trade policies that regulate imports of cheap, processed, unhealthy foods.

Curated from www1.uwe.ac.uk