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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


World Food Day will be here Friday: What are you Doing?

By Michael McBurney

This Friday, October 16, will be World Food Day. The 2014 theme is Family Farming, Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth. Being born on a farm, and having family who continue to farm and innovate to increase sustainability, makes this day especially important to me.

Without a sustainable agri-food system, food security cannot be achieved. Because of the prevalence of overweight and obesity, many believe everyone is eating too much. In reality, overweight/obesity often co-exist with inadequate vitamin and mineral intakes. People simply do not make nutritious food choices. The result is called ‘hidden hunger’. For global maps of hidden hunger, click here.

It is even more disheartening to realize that almost 1/3 of all food produced globally is wasted or lost.

Within our communities, each of us can help make a difference. We can choose nutritious foods, including fortified foods and multivitamin supplements. We can reduce waste. We can lead by example and educate others to act similarly.

Within their communities and practices, Cheng and colleagues encourage pediatricians to help identify disparities in their communities. As they write, “clinicians play a critical role in (1) diagnosing disparities in one’s community and practice, (2) innovating new models to address social determinants of health, (3) addressing health literacy of families, (4) ensuring cultural competence and a culture of workplace equity, and (5) advocating for issues that address the root causes of health disparities.” I hope clinicians accept this challenge.

And so can each of us. Be a force of change ….in your life, in your family, and in your community.

Main Citation

Cheng TL, Emmanuel MA, Levy DJ, Jenkins RR. Child health disparities: What can a clinician do? 2015 Pediatrics doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-4126

Other Citations

Muthayya S, Rah JH, Sugimoto JD, Roos FF, Kraemer K, Black RE. The global hidden hunger indices and maps: an advocacy tool for action. 2013 PLoS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067860

Berry EM, Dernini S, Burlingame B, Meybeck A, Conforti P. Food security and sustainability: can one exist without the other? 2015 Publ Health Nutr doi: 10.1017/S136898001500021X

Winkworth-Smith CG, Morgan W, Foster TJ. The impact of reducing food loss in the global cold chain. 2014 Preliminary Report of the University of Nottingham