Diets in Transition: Urbanization & Processed Food in the Heart of Malnutrition Crisis in Emerging Asia’s Countries

Published on: 2016-11-10

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Diets in Transition: Urbanization & Processed Food in the Heart of Malnutrition Crisis in Emerging Asia’s Countries

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Abstract

Despite the vibrancy of emerging markets in Asia, nutrition and health statistics remain alarming. Recently, the Global Nutrition Report (2014-16) describes a new norm of malnutrition: obesity and non-communicable diseases are on their rise, while a substantial proportion of people still suffer from undernutrition. People living in cities now outnumber those living in rural areas and research suggests a convergence in urban and rural consumer demand for packaged or processed foods within low- and middle-income Asian countries. How economics favors the production of cheap, energy-dense but nutrient-poor foods and their growing contributions to modern diets in low- and medium-income populations are both important factors in the growing double-burden of malnutrition and disease. All sectors involved in the food and nutrition value-chain need to work together to achieve the research-driven incremental improvements and disruptive innovations that shift the factors of food production and consumption towards improved nutritional and health-related outcomes.

About the Speaker

Dr Regina Moench-Pfanner is an international nutrition specialist with more than 30 years’ experience in the nutrition and health sector. She has and continues to serve as Advisor to governments, NGOs, the food industry and the media on areas including food fortification, nutrition program interventions and the complex dual burden of undernutrition and obesity. She has held regional and national roles with leading NGOs in the emergency and development sector, including the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society, Helen Keller International and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition. At the global level, Dr Moench-Pfanner has brokered many noteworthy public-private-civic partnerships. She is a Fulbright Scholar, holds a MSc in International Nutrition, Michigan State University, USA and a doctorate from the University of Bonn, Germany. Regina has published and co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed papers and is a Board Member of the Rice Bowl Index, which monitors food security in Asia.

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