|PAHO/WHO to fund health research focused on agro-food policy and innovations|
Washington, D.C., 5 November 2009 (PAHO) - Three research projects that examine public policies and innovations that link agriculture, food systems, and dietary patterns are the winners of a recent Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) competition designed to promote promising approaches to improving people's diets and reducing obesity and chronic diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The competition, financed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, recognizes the links between policies on agriculture and trade, the production and marketing of food products, and the "Westernization" of people's diets, and the contributions all of these make to rising rates of obesity and chronic diseases in the Americas.
"This kind of research can help increase awareness that policies at different levels-from the farmer to the food processor, to international trade and retailing-are important in determining what ends up on people's plates and have a direct impact on people's health," said Dr. Enrique Jacoby, PAHO advisor on healthy eating and living.
The three winning projects, announced this week, will receive US$25,000 each. They are:
The research competition supports WHO's Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity and Health, which recognizes the value of promoting the development, production, and marketing of food in ways that increase consumption of fruits and vegetables consistent with national or international dietary recommendations.
The members of the selection committee were Dr. Rachel Nugent (chairperson) of the Center for Global Development, Dr. Mark Muller of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and Dr. Homero Martinez of the Rand Corporation.
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization