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Open Access The aims and content of public nutrition

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The meeting explored how greater professional solidarity and cooperation among those working in nutrition could accelerate progress in tackling malnutrition worldwide, with particular emphasis on problems of poor people in poor countries. The case is made in other papers that malnutrition merits renewed effort because of its profound biological effects, including intergenerational effects; its impact on educability and human capital formation; and the recognition of good nutrition as a human right. Although the recent past has seen a number of approaches, community-based programs and micronutrient interventions have proved especially successful; this has led to broad agreement on strategy, as articulated notably by UNICEF. The purpose of now bringing ideas and people together under the heading of public nutrition—which has the implications of population-level and of shared responsibility—is to build on experience and to contribute to improving nutrition much faster than at present. The scope of public nutrition covers knowledge and research on nutrition problems, and controlling these by intervention; it extends beyond the public health field to include, for example, aspects of economics and humanitarian assistance. How to apply knowledge to programmes and how to best foster effective interventions are key issues. A starting point is to support research (with priority to programme impact evaluations), training (curricula are being developed), and networking. Follow-up means the collaboration of those concerned with nutrition to generate momentum for public nutrition.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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