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Americas: Researcher says food distribution is key to cure malnutrition

Malnutrition’s triple burden of undernourishment, deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, and over nutrition impacts millions of people around the world.

Changes in the availability, variety and composition of foods in developing countries is a key driver of global malnutrition, according to Miguel Gómez, professor of applied economics and management at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University.

He has also released a paper entitled Innovations in Food Distribution: Food Value Chain Transformations in Developing Countries and their Implications for Nutrition as part of the Global Innovation Index 2017 release at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2017.

“Given that micronutrient deficiencies affect more people today, interventions to boost the efficiency of traditional food distribution systems can be effective in improving access to micronutrients, particularly among urban and rural poor people,” says Gómez.

“Modern food distribution systems may simultaneously promote over-nutrition and reduce micronutrient deficiencies among urban emerging middle- and high- income individuals, which contributes to obesity.”

“Conversely, such effects may be nonexistent for the urban poor and rural residents, who are more likely to suffer from undernourishment, because these markets are often missed by the modern supermarket.”