food security- more then a determinant of health

food security- more then a determinant of health - FOOD...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
OPTIONS POLITIQUES MARS 2003 46 F ood used to be called a basic human need along with water, peace, shelter, education and primary health care. It has also been called a prerequisite for health. Food security is now listed among the social determinants of health. It is clearly a determinant of a lot of things— life, health, dignity, civil society, progress, justice and sustain- able development. On October 16, 2002, World Food Day, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a report entitled The State of Food Insecurity in the World . The report chroni- cles the 840 million people who were undernourished in 1998-2000, of whom 11 million or 1.3 percent lived in industrialized countries. There is no further mention in the report of the 11 million, who they are, how they live, and how their undernourishment has come to be? These are the people I study—those who are hungry and food insecure in Canada. It is important to have a balanced perspective with respect to hunger in developing and developed countries. Malnutrition is synonymous with hunger in developing countries. Malnutrition is defined as the failure to achieve nutrient requirements, which can impair physical and/or mental health. Also of concern are micronutrient deficien- cies such as iron, iodine, and vitamin A. Developing coun- tries measure malnutrition through anthropometric, or growth, indicators. Stunting or low height for age is arguably the best indicator of chronic malnutrition. Sometimes absolute poverty and low per capita energy con- sumption are cited as indirect measures of hunger in the developing world. Food insecurity is the term best used to define hunger in developed societies. Food insecurity is defined as “the inability to acquire or consume an adequate diet quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways, or FOOD SECURITY: MORE THAN A DETERMINANT OF HEALTH Lynn McIntyre In Canada hunger became a subject of investigation in the 1980s, when food banks began to emerge and children's feeding programs in schools became more common. Even though nutritional adequacy can be regarded as the single most important determinant of health, Canada's response to food insecurity has remained community-based, ad hoc and largely focused on the provision of free or subsidized food. Since fluidity in the number of hungry families has coincided with employment dislocations and decreased access to social assistance and employment insurance, addressing the problem will require an increase in real incomes, whether through minimum wage or social assistance. Protecting the affordability of healthy foods, particularly food staples such as milk, and creating a hunger and food insecurity monitoring system to determine progress, deterioration or shifts among those affected would also help to improve the situation.
Image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern