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Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health Conference Briefs

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Year Published:
Resource Type:
Technical Guidance

Adequate nutrition is a basic human need. Individuals must consume sufficient amounts of not only calories, but also protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals to support growth and development throughout their life cycle. Although tremendous progress has been made in meeting the world’s food demand, many parts of the developing world continue to suffer from undernutrition—that is, deficiencies in energy, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. A number of indicators can be used to measure nutritional status. Although undernutrition can occur at any time during a person’s life cycle, nutrition deficiencies among children (particularly those under 24 months) can lead to particularly severe and even permanent damage.

This paper seeks to provide an overview of the complex and dynamic relationship between nutrition and growth, examine how different growth patterns lead to different nutritional outcomes, and identify the factors that influence the magnitude of this relationship. It aims to offer researchers insights on areas for future research and analysis and to provide policymakers with knowledge regarding potential development strategies and investment policies that will increase the likelihood of positive nutritional outcomes.