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|All Authors / Contributors:||TL Blasbalg Affiliation: Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 630 West 168th Street, PH 1512, New York, NY 10032, USA.; B Wispelwey; RJ Deckelbaum|
BACKGROUND: Macronutrient and micronutrient deficiencies continue to have a detrimental impact in lower-income countries, with significant costs in morbidity, mortality, and productivity. Food is the primary source of the nutrients needed to sustain life, and it is the essential component that links nutrition, agriculture, and ecology in the econutrition framework. OBJECTIVE: To present evidence and analysis of food-based approaches for improving nutritional and health outcomes in lower-income countries. METHODS: Review of existing literature. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The benefits of food-based approaches may include nutritional improvement, food security, cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and human productivity. Food-based approaches require additional inputs, including nutrition education, gender considerations, and agricultural planning. Although some forms of malnutrition can be addressed via supplements, food-based approaches are optimal to achieve sustainable solutions to multiple nutrient deficiencies.
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