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Child-centered food systems: reorienting food systems towards healthy diets for children

Hawkes, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-5091-878X, Fox, E., Downs, S., Fanzo, J. and Neve, K. (2020). Child-centered food systems: reorienting food systems towards healthy diets for children. Global Food Security, 27, 100414.. doi: 10.1016/j.gfs.2020.100414


Current food systems are failing to guide children towards healthy diets. This paper presents a tool to identify the actions needed to reorient food systems to become more child-centred from a nutrition perspective. To connect the dots between children's lives, their food environments and food supply systems, the tool takes a child-centred, food systems approach. Comprising six methodological steps, the tool starts by measuring and understanding children's realities and then working back up into the system to identify how food environments and supply systems could make relevant foods more or less available, affordable, appealing and aspirational in the contexts of children's lives. The paper spells out the mix of methods needed to make this assessment, gives examples of the data and studies already available and type of insights they provide, and discusses the methodological challenges and gaps. It presents a worked example that shows how following these steps in sequence enables the identification of a package of actions that can act coherently to reorient food systems in the way most likely to have impact on child malnutrition.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Diet; Food systems; Children; Malnutrition; Mixed-methods; Child-centered; Obesity; Policy coherence; Food environments
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
T Technology > TX Home economics
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2020 10:46
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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