Agriculture / Cattle / CGIAR / China / Food Safety / Human Health

Bringing agriculture and health back together

Involving health experts in agricultural development projects can help to foresee health threats and improve project design Flickr/IRRI Images

Agriculture and health experts must work together to tackle disease, poverty and malnutrition, says development expert Jeff Waage.

The relationship between agriculture and health may seem intuitive and simple — grow more crops and people will have more food and live healthier lives. But because agriculture and health policies are rarely coordinated, the reality is far more complex.

The truth is that despite a huge increase in agricultural productivity and food availability over the past 50 years, and falling food prices, about a billion people remain chronically undernourished.

At the same time, production of cheap refined cereals, sugars and fats is contributing to urban diets that are energy dense and nutrient poor, leading to rapidly growing rates of obesity and diabetes, and associated chronic diseases. This dietary transition is now being seen in countries like China, India and Mexico.

Read more … (Science and Development Network /SciDev Net)

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