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The aim of this study was to examine the trade-offs related to the production and consumption of palm oil in Myanmar from a sustainable diets perspective.
We used an enhanced value chain analysis approach that included semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders; market analyses to assess edible oils in markets and focus groups as well as surveys with consumers to ascertain their perceptions and practices related to edible oils.
Four settings in Myanmar (upper income urban; lower income urban; middle-income urban; lower income rural).
Key stakeholders (n 12) from government, trade bodies and civil society organisations were included in the interviews. Women from each of the regions participated in four focus groups (n 32), and a convenience sample of male and female consumers participated in the surveys (n 362).
We found mistrust of the oil sector overall. Poor production practices, leading to low yields, limit the economic viability of oil palm production in Myanmar and contribute to negative environmental (e.g. deforestation) and social outcomes (e.g. land conflicts). Consumers demonstrated low preferences for palm oil as compared with traditional oils from a taste, health and transparency perspective; however, they indicated that its relative low cost led to its purchase over other oils.
The Burmese example suggests that there may be limited benefits, and significant costs, of investing in palm oil production in regions where there are coordinating disincentives from a sustainable diets perspective. However, if oil palm cultivation is to continue, there are opportunities to improve its economic viability and environmental sustainability.
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.
To examine consumers’ perceptions of their food environments, their food consumption patterns and preferences, and to better understand the attributes of foods that are available within food environments in Myanmar.
An exploratory mixed-methods study using a combination of focus group discussions, market and consumer surveys.
Four study settings in Myanmar were included: an upper-income township of Yangon; a lower-income township of Yangon; a middle-income township in the southern Myanmar town of Dawei; and a lower-income village in the country’s dry zone of Magway.
Thirty-two women participated in the focus groups discussions, twenty market surveys were conducted and 362 consumers (both men and women) completed food consumption surveys.
Focus group participants indicated that the availability of a diverse range of foods had increased over time, while the quality of foods had decreased. Health was seen primarily through the lens of food safety and there was an overall lack of knowledge about which foods were more or less healthy. Consumers preferred fruits, vegetables and red meat compared with highly processed snack foods/beverages. Although consumers reported low intakes of highly processed snack foods, Burmese street food was consumed in high quantities. The market surveys suggested that fresh, minimally processed and highly processed foods were available at all markets across the study settings.
Consumers are exposed to a variety of foods, of varying quality, within their food environments in Myanmar. Interventions aimed at increasing consumer knowledge regarding healthy diets and improving food safety are needed.
To systematically review the design, implementation and effectiveness of mass media and nutrition education interventions for improving infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices and related psychosocial factors.
A search of PubMed, Embase and PsycINFO databases, a Google search, and a consultation with experts in the field of IYCF performed in July 2016.
Low- and middle-income countries, as defined by the World Bank Group.
Eligible studies: included a mass media component (with or without nutrition education); conducted a pre–post evaluation (with or without a control group); assessed IYCF knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and/or practices; and were published in English between 2000 and present.
Eighteen unique studies were identified that examined the effect of mass media (types included: television; print; voice and/or SMS (text) messages; radio; megaphones/loudspeakers; videos; social media; songs/dramas) and nutrition education interventions on IYCF practices within thirteen countries. Of these, fifteen studies reported improvements in breast- and/or complementary feeding practices, using indicators recommended by the WHO, and six studies reported improvements in related psychosocial factors. However, little detail was provided on the use of formative research, a formal behaviour change theory and behaviour change techniques. Few studies reported both dose delivered and participants’ exposure to the intervention.
Despite evidence of effectiveness, few common elements in the design of interventions were identified. Future research should consistently report these details to open the ‘black box’ of IYCF interventions, identify effective design components and ensure replicability.
The development of food policy is strongly influenced by the understanding and position actors adopt in their ‘framing’ of sustainability. The Australian Government developed a National Food Plan (2010–2013). In public consultations on the National Food Plan Green Paper, the government sought stakeholders’ views on sustainability. The present study examined the way in which the food industry and civil society organizations framed sustainability in their submissions to the Green Paper.
Submissions by food industry actors and civil society organizations were analysed using a framing matrix that examined positioning, drivers, underlying principles and policy solutions related to sustainability. Submissions were open coded and subsequently organized based on themes within the framing matrix.
One hundred and twenty-four written submissions (1420 pages).
While submissions from industry and civil society organizations often framed sustainability similarly, there were also major differences. Civil society organizations were more likely to make the link between the food supply and population health, while industry was more likely to focus on economic sustainability. Both viewed consumer demand as a driver of sustainability, welcomed the idea of a whole-of-government approach and stressed the need for investment in research and development to improve productivity and sustainable farming practices.
The meaning of sustainability shifted throughout the policy process. There are opportunities for creating shared value in food policy, where the health, environment and economic dimensions of sustainability can be compatible. However, despite pockets of optimism there is a need for a shared vision of sustainability if Australia is to have a food policy integrating these dimensions.
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.
To explore the relationship among children’s diet quality, weight status and food environment in subarctic Canada.
In the cross-sectional study, children’s BMI was calculated, diet quality was assessed using three 24 h dietary recalls and children were asked about their home food environment and source of meals.
Two Aboriginal Cree communities in northern Québec.
Two hundred and one children in grades 4–6.
The majority (64·2 %) of children were overweight (29·9 %) or obese (34·3 %). Weight status was not associated with reported restaurant meal frequency or the home food environment. The 18 % of children who consumed three or more restaurant meals in the three days of recall consumed, on average, 2004 kJ (479 kcal) more energy daily than children consuming no restaurant meals and had higher intakes of fat, saturated fat, Ca and soda. Most foods contributing to energy and dietary fat were energy-dense market foods of low nutritional value such as sweetened beverages and snack foods. Only 68 % of children reported often having fruits and vegetables in the home and 98·5 % of children consumed less than 5 fruits and vegetables daily. Many children (42·8 %) were at risk of Zn inadequacy. Only 19 % of children consumed 2 or more servings of milk daily, and the mean intakes of Ca and vitamin D were below the recommended adequate intake. Traditional game meat was consumed infrequently, but contributed significantly to Fe and Zn intake.
Childhood obesity in subarctic communities prevailed in a food environment typified by high-energy-density commercial foods of low nutritional value.
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