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PB #1 Role-Reach of Govt in Nutrition - FINAL

PB #1 Role-Reach of Govt in Nutrition - FINAL

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PPooooccoouunnee s seennddoobbeeuunnhheeaallhhyyaanndduunnhheeaallhhyyccoouunnee s seennddoobbeeppoooo
(Bleakley, H., 2010)
availability and accessto safe and nutritiousfood are notautomatic to the poor,socially excluded andmarginalised groups
health care costsgenerally, andespecially to treatlifestyle diseases, arehigh and rising;
government candirectly and indirectlyinfluence the kinds ofconsumption choicesor food utilizationdecisions towardsgood health.
Understanding the Concepts
Nutrition:- the process of providing or obtaining the foodnecessary for health and growth;- the provision to cells and organisms, of thematerials necessary (in the form of food) tosupport life.Government policy:- a principle or rule to guide decisions andachieve rational outcomes;- a term used to describe any course of actionwhich intends to change a certain situation.Also known as public policyNutritional guidelines:- a set of recommendations on the proportionalintake of each food group necessary for proper nutrition and health.
Nutrition is notnecessarily just food;and food is not the onlysource of nutrition.An imbalanced diet inrelation to daily caloricrequirements can leadto under nutrition or over nutrition, both ofwhich have adversehealth and socio-economicconsequences.There is a growingconsensus on the needto focus on nutrition asopposed to just foodcalorie-protein intakefor good health.
1 Understanding theConcepts.2 Why shouldGovernmentintervene innutrition security?3 How CanGovernmentsInfluence NutritionSecurity?4 Policy InterventionCritical ControlPoints.5 Bottom line!
Healthy organic vegetables grown inSuriname with support from NGO, The
Caribbean Institute’s project working with
small farmers to revitalise horticultureproduction.
(Photo: Maureen Silos)
 Jamaican produce on sale in theBarbados market through a US massmarketing chain! As food prices rise, intra-regional trade will become critical to foodsecurity
(Photo: Brent Theophille)
Nutrition security is enabled and assured within an environment that encourages and motivates societyto make food choices consistent with short- and long-term good health. Nutrition policies andregulations must have an effect on the cost of producing healthy commodities; on how those costsrelate to final retail prices; on how responsive consumers are to price changes and on how the policy
directly influences the consumers’ preference for the healthy product
(Ralston, 1999)
Why Should Governments Intervene in Nutrition Security?
The simple answer: ‘prevention is better than the cure’. It is also the more
cost-effective option in the long-run. There is enough evidence that healthcare costs are astronomical, rising and out of reach of the majority of a
country’s citizens. Who bears the fall out? The government and ultimately, the
tax payers
as more and more of a country’s tax revenues are diverted into
health care.
It is therefore in Government’s interest to nurture a healthy
population.Although consumption choices are the ultimate responsibility of anindividual/household, there are a number of situations and circumstancesthat may limit, disrupt or even prevent them from exercising their right tomake a healthy choice. Because economic activities and growth depend, inpart, on a productive labour force, government are required to intervene toensure that the citizens have access to food, and especially foods that areessential to good health.
A ‘business as usual’ approach would signific
antlycompromise human capital formation in both the short and long run and for resource-scare SIDs, including those of the Caribbean, and severelyundermine development.
The CARICOM Regional Food and Nutrition Security Policy (RFNSP, 2010)
recognises theregi
on’s vulnerabilities to policy shifts and economic and financial shocks in leading world
economies. The 2008 to 2010 financial crisis had immediate and deep impacts on food prices inthe Caribbean, threatening several vulnerable groups with food insecurity. Building resilience for food and nutrition security (FNS) requires urgent and concerted attention to food system policyand critically, nutrition policy. This challenges governments to unambiguously determine where,how and to what extent they can make meaningful interventions. Recognising the need for interventions primarily in consumer behavioural change, communication and in sharing bestpractices across sectors linked to FNS, the CARICOM
Council on Human and SocialDevelopment (COHSOD)
is an important partner in implementing the RFNSP. COHSOD issupporting the design of food service operations in schools and has agreed to focalpoints/teams from within the education sectors to support RFNSP implementation.
Shift to diets high infats, salt and refinedcarbohydrates, andlow in fruits,vegetables, legumes,provisions and nutshave been linked todrastic increases inincidences of chronicnon-communicablediseases (CNCDs).
How Can Governments Influence Nutrition Security?
Practitioners and policy makers have become more convinced of theneed to focus on nutrition as opposed to just food calorie/protein intakein addressing the ongoing challenge of food and
nutrition security (FNS).Policies and regulations can directly or indirectly affect both the supplyand demand side of the food system. The primary objective ofgovernment policy should be to encourage positive changes in dietsand lifestyles. This can be done through regulating and modifying thefood system, making healthy foods more acceptable (i.e. whether through affordability or any other set of critical societal factors), andeducating individuals and communities to make healthy lifestylechoices.Effective interventions must have focus as to exactly who will beimpacted and how. The recommendation is to focus on strategies thataddress the specific aspects of the susceptibilities (e.g. access to food-production resources, purchasing power, nutrition deficiency incommonly utilized foods, etc.) of the most vulnerable nutrition groups(i.e. pregnant and nursing mothers, young children and theelderly/infirmed).
‘Bodi, ochro and pumpkin on sale at a vendor’s stall on Charlotte Street, Port
-of-Spain, Trinidad
Central Bank: Floods may have affected rising food prices, Published: January 8, 2012Shaliza Hassanali, http://guardian.co.tt
 According to Ralston(1999), whether or not they are directedspecifically at the foodsector, regulations canaffect the: (1) varietiesand qualities of foodsavailable for purchase,(2) prices consumersface, (3) informationconsumers receiveabout a product, and(4) consumer confidence in the foodsupply.

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