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To identify opportunities and challenges for the promotion of healthy, sustainable oil consumption in India.
We use a framework for policy space analysis which distinguishes between policy context, process and characteristics.
We focus on the Indian edible oils sector and on factors shaping the policy space at a national level.
The study is based on the analysis of policy documents and semi-structured interviews with key experts and stakeholders in the edible oils sector.
We find opportunities associated with the emergence of multisectoral policy frameworks for climate adaptation and non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention at a national level which explicitly include the oils sector, the existence of structures for sectoral policy coordination, some supportive factors for the translation of nutrition evidence into practice, and the possibility of integrating nutrition-sensitive approaches within current state-led agricultural interventions. However, the trade-offs perceived across sustainability, NCD prevention and food security objectives in the vegetable oils sector are considered a barrier for policy influence and implementation. Sustainability and nutrition advocates tend to focus on different segments of the value chain, missing potential synergies. Moreover, policy priorities are dominated by historical concerns for food security, understood as energy provision, as well as economic and strategic priorities.
Systematic efforts towards identifying synergistic approaches, from agricultural production to distribution of edible oils, as well as increased involvement of nutrition advocates with upstream policies in the oils sector, could increase policy influence for advocates of both nutrition and sustainability.
The indigenous food environment, dietary intake and nutritional status of women in the Santhal tribal community of Jharkhand were assessed. Contribution of indigenous foods to nutritional status and nutrient intakes was explored.
Exploratory cross-sectional study with a longitudinal dietary intake assessment component. Household and dietary surveys were conducted to elicit information on socio-economic and demographic profile and food consumption patterns at household level. A 24 h dietary recall for two consecutive days (repeat surveys in two more seasons) and anthropometric assessments were carried out on one woman per household.
Households (n 151) with at least one woman of reproductive age in four villages of Godda district of Jharkhand, India.
Women aged 15–49 years.
Almost all households owned agricultural land and grew fruits and vegetables in backyards for household consumption. A wide variety of indigenous foods were reported but dietary recalls revealed low intake. Women consumed adequate energy and protein but micronutrient intake was inadequate (less than 66 % of recommended) in the majority (more than 50 %) for Ca, Fe, vitamin B2, folate and vitamin B12. Women consuming indigenous foods in the past 2 d had significantly higher intakes of Ca (P=0·008) and Fe (P=0·010) than those who did not. Varying degrees of underweight were observed in 50 % of women with no significant association between underweight and consumption of indigenous foods.
Promotion of preferential cultivation of nutrient-dense indigenous food sources and effective nutrition education on their importance may facilitate better micronutrient intakes among women in Santhal community of Jharkhand.
India has proposed legislating an upper limit of trans fat in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and mandating trans fat labelling in an effort to reduce intakes. The objective of the present study was to examine the complexities of regulating trans fat in India by examining the policy processes involved and the perceived implementation challenges.
Semi-structured interviews (n 18) were conducted with key informants from various sectors. Interviewees were asked about sources of trans fat in the food supply, existing policies that may influence trans fats and perceived challenges related to the proposed trans fat regulation, in addition to questions tailored to their area of expertise. Interview data were organised based on common themes.
Interviews were conducted in India.
Interviewees were key informants from various sectors including agriculture, trade, industry and health.
Several themes were identified related to the complexity of regulating trans fat in India. A lack of trans fat awareness, the large unorganised retail sector, a need for suitable alternative products that are both acceptable to consumers and affordable, and a need to build capacity were crucial factors affecting India's ability to successfully regulate trans fat. The limited number of food inspectors will create an additional challenge in terms of enforcement of trans fat regulation.
Although India will face challenges in regulating trans fat, legislating an upper limit of trans fat in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils will likely be the most effective approach to reducing it in the food supply. Ongoing engagement with industry, agriculture, trade and processing sectors will prove essential in terms of product reformulation.
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