Intended for healthcare professionals


Agriculture and health

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 17 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:d7834
  1. Andrew Dorward, professor of development economics1,
  2. Alan D Dangour, senior lecturer2
  1. 1Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research in Agriculture and Health, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, London WC1H 0PD, UK
  2. 2Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research in Agriculture and Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  1. ad55{at}

Agricultural research needs to be better integrated with nutrition and health outcomes

We live in a “triple F” crisis. Global and European financial problems dominate the press and the concerns of privileged people in privileged societies. But for the poor it is fuel and, for most of the poorest, food that present the greatest direct threats to their daily lives. Our ability to sustainably produce and ensure access to a diet of sufficient quantity and quality (in terms of vitamin and mineral content) is central to guaranteeing both food and nutrition security, and it is a major emphasis of current global development policy and planning.1 In the linked systematic review (doi:10.1136/bmj.d8222), Masset and colleagues assess evidence from low income countries on the effects of interventions that aim to improve children’s nutritional status by enhancing households’ agricultural production and improving diets.2

Great strides have been made in ensuring global food security in the past 50 years. Global food production has largely kept pace with population growth, allowing not only more people to be fed but also greater consumption of a wider diversity of vegetable—and particularly …

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