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Archive for the ‘hunger and malnutrition’ Category

Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers in the African-American Community: Employment, Wages, and Fairness

April 4, 2014 Comments off

Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers in the African-American Community: Employment, Wages, and Fairness (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World

Ending hunger in America is possible. However, the return of income inequality on a scale that hasn’t been witnessed since the Great Depression—and the high poverty and hunger rates that accompany it—indicates that it’s time for the U.S. government to step up.

In 2012, the average incomes of the top 1 percent of households rose by 19.6 percent, while the incomes of the other 99 percent grew by just 1 percent. Economic inequality manifests itself in disproportionate rates of hunger and poverty among communities of color and children in particular. Following is an analysis of hunger and poverty within the African-American community and the connection to employment, wages, and fairness.

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2013 Global Food Policy Report

March 20, 2014 Comments off

2013 Global Food Policy Report
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute

IFPRI’s flagship report examines the major food policy issues, developments, and decisions of 2013. It puts into perspective the year’s food policy successes and setbacks, and suggests how to advance policies that will improve the food situation for poor people in developing countries.

The Health Consequences of Senior Hunger in the United States: Evidence from the 1999-2010 NHANES

March 20, 2014 Comments off

The Health Consequences of Senior Hunger in the United States: Evidence from the 1999-2010 NHANES (PDF)
Source: National Foundation to End Senior Hunger

Millions of seniors are food insecure in the United States, meaning that scores do not have access to enough food at all times for an active, healthy life. What makes food insecurity an even more pressing issue is its association with a wide array of negative nutrition and health consequences. In our earlier reports on food insecurity among seniors (Ziliak et al., 2008; Ziliak and Gundersen, 2011) we documented that food insecure seniors, even after controlling for other factors, were at higher risk of experiencing negative nutrition and health consequences than food secure seniors.

In this report we build on those earlier findings in three main directions. Namely, we add in several new health outcomes; we use four more years of data ; and we examine how trends in health and nutrition outcomes among food secure and food insecure seniors have changed over the past decade. Using data from the 1999-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), we considered the following outcomes related to nutrient intakes: energy intake, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron. The set of health outcomes we analyzed were diabetes, general health , depression, diabetes, ADL limitations, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, cancer, reports of chest pain, gum disease, psoriasis, asthma, having had a heart attack, and a self-report of gum health. Here we summarize some of our principal findings.

Relationships Between Housing and Food Insecurity, Frequent Mental Distress, and Insufficient Sleep Among Adults in 12 US States, 2009

March 18, 2014 Comments off

Relationships Between Housing and Food Insecurity, Frequent Mental Distress, and Insufficient Sleep Among Adults in 12 US States, 2009
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
Housing insecurity and food insecurity may be psychological stressors associated with insufficient sleep. Frequent mental distress may mediate the relationships between these variables. The objective of this study was to examine the relationships between housing insecurity and food insecurity, frequent mental distress, and insufficient sleep.

Methods
We analyzed data from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 12 states. Housing insecurity and food insecurity were defined as being worried or stressed “sometimes,” “usually,” or “always” during the previous 12 months about having enough money to pay rent or mortgage or to buy nutritious meals.

Results
Of 68,111 respondents, 26.4% reported frequent insufficient sleep, 28.5% reported housing insecurity, 19.3% reported food insecurity, and 10.8% reported frequent mental distress. The prevalence of frequent insufficient sleep was significantly greater among those who reported housing insecurity (37.7% vs 21.6%) or food insecurity (41.1% vs 22.9%) than among those who did not. The prevalence of frequent mental distress was also significantly greater among those reporting housing insecurity (20.1% vs 6.8%) and food insecurity (23.5% vs 7.7%) than those who did not. The association between housing insecurity or food insecurity and frequent insufficient sleep remained significant after adjustment for other sociodemographic variables and frequent mental distress.

Conclusion
Sleep health and mental health are embedded in the social context. Research is needed to assess whether interventions that reduce housing insecurity and food insecurity will also improve sleep health and mental health.

Sustaining U.S. Leadership and Investments in Scaling Up Maternal and Child Nutrition

March 12, 2014 Comments off

Sustaining U.S. Leadership and Investments in Scaling Up Maternal and Child Nutrition (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

Nutrition creates a foundation for sustainable economic growth and good health. There is solid evidence that demonstrates that improving nutrition—particularly early in life, in the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and a child’s second birthday— can have a profound impact on a country’s long-term economic development and stability. Each year 3 million children die from causes related to malnutrition and more than 165 million children suffer from its consequences. Most live in just 36 countries. Because of the role that early nutrition plays in accelerating development and in the success of global food security, agricultural development, and health efforts, it is vital that the United States continues to show global leadership.

Promising Agricultural Technologies for Feeding the World’s Poorest

March 3, 2014 Comments off

Promising Agricultural Technologies for Feeding the World’s Poorest
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute

Increased demand for food due to population and income growth and the impacts of climate change on agriculture will ratchet up the pressure for increased and more sustainable agricultural production to feed the planet. A new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) measures the impacts of agricultural innovation on farm productivity, prices, hunger, and trade flows as we approach 2050 and identifies practices which could significantly benefit developing nations.

Harmonizing Nutrition Monitoring and Evaluation Across U.S. Government Agencies

February 24, 2014 Comments off

Harmonizing Nutrition Monitoring and Evaluation Across U.S. Government Agencies (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

• Significant resources and political will are being mobilized for global nutrition. The new whole of U.S. government Nutrition Strategy being developed is an opportunity to unite departments and agencies behind a common nutrition goal.

• Under Feed the Future (FTF), the U.S. government is working to strengthen how evidence-based nutrition interventions are integrated into development projects working across sectors. Results and lessons learned from the first two years of FTF implementation need to be gathered, shared and applied across all relevant U.S. government funded programs.

• A monitoring and evaluation framework, operational and technical guidance as well as program tools for nutrition have been developed under FTF and the Global Health Initiative (GHI). These materials need to be harmonized and adapted for routine use by relevant departments and agencies.

• Sustained senior-level government commitment and increased in-house nutrition technical capacity in headquarters offices and the field will be key for the U.S. government to achieve its global nutrition objectives working across departments, agencies and initiatives.

The Food Assistance Landscape: FY 2013 Annual Report

February 21, 2014 Comments off

The Food Assistance Landscape: FY 2013 Annual Report
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

In this report, the Economic Research Service uses preliminary data from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to examine trends in U.S. food and nutrition assistance programs through fiscal 2013 (October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013) and ERS data to examine trends in the prevalence and severity of household food insecurity in the United States through 2012.

The global landscape of poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition and implications for agricultural development strategies

December 24, 2013 Comments off

The global landscape of poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition and implications for agricultural development strategies
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute

For many years poverty reduction was the overarching welfare objective of a wide range of development institutions and programs, particularly in the context of agricultural development. Yet in recent years the development community has increasingly set for itself more specific welfare objectives by distinguishing between monetary poverty, food security, nutrition and, most recently, resilience. This paper first outlines a basic framework for thinking about the relationships between these different concepts, and then explores the empirical relationships among different indicators of these concepts, and some of their potential determinants. The empirical analysis highlights several important stylized facts. First, key indicators of these three dimensions of welfare suggest strong correlations among the subset of chronic welfare indicators but much weaker relationships between chronic and acute measures of welfare. Put another way, many countries are chronically poor, food insecure or malnourished, but a much smaller set of countries suffer from acute ill-being. For example, countries in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and South Asia suffer disproportionately from high rates of child and maternal wasting, and a relatively small subset of developing countries are highly prone to natural disasters. Conceivably these acutely vulnerable countries require quite different development strategies. Second, gross domestic product per capita, agricultural productivity, literacy rates, fertility rates, and health burdens all share fairly robust relationships with poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition indicators, as expected. But somewhat novel is a strong relationship between a simple indicator of dietary diversity and a wide range of both chronic and acute welfare indicators. This perhaps suggests that dietary diversity is a relevant intermediate welfare indicator of particular relevance for agricultural development initiatives.

Strengthening SNAP for a More Food-Secure, Healthy America

December 20, 2013 Comments off

Strengthening SNAP for a More Food-Secure, Healthy America
Source: Brookings Institution

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the fundamental safety-net program in the United States. Over its fifty-year history, it has effectively reduced hunger and buffered American families against economic downturns. In this new discussion paper the author proposes to subsidize healthy foods in order to encourage better nutrition among SNAP recipients and to reform eligibility and payment rules to enable SNAP to better fight hunger and support program beneficiaries.

CRS — Reauthorization of SNAP and Other Nutrition Programs in the Next Farm Bill: Issues for the 113th Congress

December 17, 2013 Comments off

Reauthorization of SNAP and Other Nutrition Programs in the Next Farm Bill: Issues for the 113th Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The 113th Congress is considering the next “farm bill” and the reauthorization of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other nutrition programs within that legislation. The 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246) and a one-year extension have now expired. In the first session of the 113 th Congress, conference committee deliberations have begun based on the Senate’s conference proposal (S. 954) and the House’s conference proposal (H.R. 2642, amended to include Nutrition-only bill H.R. 3102). (Though the authorizations of appropriations for SNAP and other programs are currently expired, operati ons continue due to funding provided through appropriations.)

As conference proceeds, one of the challenges facing policymakers is the difference between the SNAP provisions. Over the ten-year budget window (FY2014-FY2023), CBO estimates that the Senate’s Nutrition Title would reduce spending by approximately $4 billion and that the House’s Nutrition Title would reduce spending by approx imately $39 billion. The House proposal would reauthorize SNAP and related programs for three years, while the Senate would reauthorize the programs for five years.

CRS — International Food Aid: U.S. and Other Donor Contributions

December 17, 2013 Comments off

International Food Aid: U.S. and Other Donor Contributions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The United States is the world’s major provider of international food aid to low-income developing countries. This report provides data on the U.S. contribution to global food aid as reported by signatories of the International Food Aid Convention (FAC) and compiled by the International Grains Council (IGC), as well as data on U.S. and other donor contributions to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).

The Food Aid Convention (FAC) is an agreement among donor countries to provide a minimum amount of food aid to low-income developing countries. The food aid commitment agreed to by all FAC signatories in 1999 was approximately 4.9 million metric tons (mmt) annually. The United States pledged to provide 2.5 mmt annually, or 51% of the total annual commitment. A new FAC, renamed the Food Assistance Convention, was negotiated in 2012. The United States ratified the new FAC on September 26, 2012. Commitments under the new convention are pending.

Data from the IGC show that U.S. food aid accounted for 56% of food aid shipments by FAC signatories over the period 1995/1996-2011/2012.

A substantial portion of U.S. food aid is channeled through the WFP. Over the period from 1996 to October 20, 2013, around 43% of donor contributions to the WFP came from the United States.

Ending Hunger in America: 2014 Hunger Report

December 3, 2013 Comments off

Ending Hunger in America: 2014 Hunger Report
Source: Bread for the World Institute
From press release:

The 2014 Hunger Report proposes bold steps to end hunger in the United States by 2030. Returning the economy closer to the full employment level of 2000 would also decrease hunger from today’s rate of 14.5 percent. By making jobs a priority, it would be possible for President Obama and Congress to reduce hunger in America by 25 percent by 2017. In addition to investing in good jobs as a way of ending hunger, the report also recommends ending the political brinkmanship that led to the sequester, or automatic budget cuts, and focusing on investing in people, strengthening the safety net and encouraging community partnerships.

Pathways to Productivity: The Role of GMOs for Food Security in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda

October 30, 2013 Comments off

Pathways to Productivity: The Role of GMOs for Food Security in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda
Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies

This report provides an overview of the debate in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda over genetically modified (GM) crops and their potential role in improving food security among smallholder farmers. Specifically, in each country, it examines regulatory structures, science and research capacity, communication and public opinion, the views of smallholder farmers, and the forecast for adoption of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Additionally, it examines regional regulatory efforts and potential trade impacts. Finally, the report provides a set of policy recommendations targeted toward the U.S. government, focus country governments, the donor community, and nongovernmental organizations.

November 1 SNAP Cuts Will Affect Millions of Children, Seniors, and People With Disabilities; State-by-State Figures Highlight the Impacts Across the Country

October 29, 2013 Comments off

November 1 SNAP Cuts Will Affect Millions of Children, Seniors, and People With Disabilities; State-by-State Figures Highlight the Impacts Across the Country
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits ends on November 1, 2013, which will mean a benefit cut for each of the nearly 48 million SNAP recipients — 87 percent of whom live in households with children, seniors, or people with disabilities. House and Senate members who are now beginning to negotiate a final Farm Bill should keep this benefit cut in mind as they consider, in reauthorizing the SNAP program, whether to make even deeper cuts.

The November 1 benefit cut will be substantial. A household of three, such as a mother with two children, will lose $29 a month — a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014, the remaining 11 months of fiscal year 2014. (See Figure 1.) The cut is equivalent to about 16 meals a month for a family of three based on the cost of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s “Thrifty Food Plan.” Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP benefits in fiscal year 2014 will average less than $1.40 per person per meal. Nationally, the cut totals about $5 billion in 2014 and a total of $11 billion over the fiscal year 2014 to 2016 period.

International Journal of Global Warming — Special Issue on Loss and Damage from Climate Change

October 25, 2013 Comments off

Special Issue on Loss and Damage from Climate Change
Source: International Journal of Global Warming
From press release (EurekAlert!):

An open access special issue of the International Journal of Global Warming brings together, for the first time, empirical evidence of loss and damage from the perspective of affected people in nine vulnerable countries. The articles in this special issue show how climatic stressors affect communities, what measures households take to prevent loss and damage, and what the consequences are when they are unable to adjust sufficiently. The guest-editors, Kees van der Geest and Koko Warner of the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Bonn, Germany, introduce the special issue with an overview of key findings from the nine research papers, all of which are available online free of charge.

‘Loss and damage’ refers to adverse effects of climate variability and climate change that occur despite mitigation and adaptation efforts. Warner and van der Geest discuss the loss and damage incurred by people at the local-level based on evidence from research teams working in nine vulnerable countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Kenya, Micronesia, Mozambique and Nepal. The research papers pool data from 3269 household surveys and more than 200 focus groups and expert interviews.

The research reveals four loss and damage pathways. Residual impacts of climate stressors occur when:

  • existing coping/adaptation to biophysical impact is not enough;
  • measures have costs (including non-economic) that cannot be regained;
  • despite short-term merits, measures have negative effects in the longer term; or
  • no measures are adopted – or possible – at all.

The articles in this special issue provide evidence that loss and damage happens simultaneously with efforts by people to adjust to climatic stressors. The evidence illustrates loss and damage around barriers and limits to adaptation: growing food and livelihood insecurity, unreliable water supplies, deteriorating human welfare and increasing manifestation of erosive coping measures (e.g. eating less, distress sale of productive assets to buy food, reducing the years of schooling for children, etc.). These negative impacts touch upon people’s welfare and health, social cohesion, culture and identity – values that contribute to the functioning of society but which elude monetary valuation.

Selected charts from Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials

October 18, 2013 Comments off

Selected charts from Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service

This collection of nine charts and maps presents essential information on the farm sector, food spending and prices, food security, rural communities, and the interaction of agriculture and natural resources.

2013 Global Hunger Index

October 14, 2013 Comments off

2013 Global Hunger Index
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute

The issue brief for the 2013 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report—the eighth in an annual series—presents a multidimensional measure of national, regional, and global hunger. It shows that the world has made some progress in reducing hunger since 1990, but still has far to go. World hunger remains “serious,” and 19 countries suffer from levels of hunger that are either “alarming” or “extremely alarming.”

The theme of the 2013 GHI report is resilience in theory and in practice. The relief and development communities have long struggled to understand why some people fare better than others when confronting stresses or shocks. Resilience-building efforts are much needed to help poor and vulnerable people cope with hunger seasons, droughts, and other natural and manmade disasters. To help build resilience in ways that will boost food and nutrition security, the report calls for breaking down the silos between the relief and development communities and for focusing on approaches that contribute to the ability of people and systems to resist, absorb, and transform in response to shocks.

A Global Development Agenda: Toward 2015 and Beyond

October 9, 2013 Comments off

A Global Development Agenda: Toward 2015 and Beyond
Source: Bread for the World Institute

Bread for the World Institute’s latest briefing paper, A Global Development Agenda: Toward 2015 and Beyond, emphasizes that the post-2015 development agenda provides an opportunity to promote equity and equitable growth in all countries. It is also an opportunity to recognize linkages across key areas: food security and good nutrition for all; agricultural development; women’s economic empowerment; and good governance and effective institutions. Goals should be formulated in ways that capture the great potential of coordinated approaches, which have proven to be highly effective in responding to multiple development challenges.

Global hunger down, but millions still chronically hungry

October 8, 2013 Comments off

Global hunger down, but millions still chronically hungry
Source: UN Food and Agricultural Organization

Some 842 million people, or roughly one in eight, suffered from chronic hunger in 2011-13, not getting enough food to lead active and healthy lives according to a report released by the UN food agencies.

The number is down from 868 million reported for the 2010-12 period, according to the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI 2013), published every year by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP). The vast majority of hungry people live in developing regions, while 15.7 million live in developed countries.

Continued economic growth in developing countries has improved incomes and access to food. Recent pick-up in agricultural productivity growth, supported by increased public investment and renewed interest of private investors in agriculture, has improved food availability.

In addition, in some countries, remittances from migrants are playing a role in reducing poverty, leading to better diets and progress in food security. They can also contribute to boosting productive investments by smallholder farmers.

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