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Exploring new, evolving and neglected topics at the intersection of food systems, climate change and nutrition: a literature review

Author: Leah Richardson, Natalie Sessions and Anne Bush
Year: 2024
Resource type: Report

 

Food systems, climate, and nutrition are closely intertwined with common yet complex multidirectional pathways that link drivers, actions and outcomes across all three areas. Food systems affect our nutrition by directly influencing the accessibility of affordable, appealing, diverse and nutritious foods, with maternal, infant and young child diets most at risk. At the same time, current food systems are a key driver of environmental degradation, and climate change is further exacerbating populations’ vulnerability to malnutrition. Many of the negative effects of climate change on nutrition outcomes are mediated through its effects on components of the food system.  

This literature review aims to foster joined-up strategic decision-making across the climate, nutrition and food sectors that will accelerate coherent policy, funding and programming to improve the health of people and planet. We want to create an appetite for addressing barriers and missed opportunities by providing an overview of recent, evolving and neglected topics in this area. We start by introducing the readers to the linkages between food systems, climate and nutrition. We then move on to ground readers in the evidence-based topics which have gained traction in the whirlwind since the Food Systems Summit from 2021 to 2023. We then delve deeply into two areas that are currently neglected and yet are of critical importance reviewing the literature from 2015 to 2023 on: i) leveraging sustainable food systems to prevent malnutrition, and ii) establishing sustainable food systems in conflict-affected settings. We share promising practices, remaining challenges and recommendations within these two areas. And finally we reflect on ways forward, with the aim of fostering joined-up strategic decision-making across the climate, nutrition and food sectors that will accelerate coherent policy, funding and programming.

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Leah Richardson, Natalie Sessions and Anne Bush (2024). Exploring new, evolving and neglected topics at the intersection of food systems, climate change and nutrition: a literature review. www.ennonline.net/exploring-new-evolving-and-neglected-topics-food-systems-climate-change-and-nutrition

(https://doi.org/10.6084/ m9.figshare.25112246)

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