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Title: Towards food security with nutritional health : multi-scale approaches
Author: Coghlan, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 7428
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis addresses multi-scale approaches for improving food security with nutritional health. It argues that four key themes: scale, nutrition, trade, and governance are not given adequate attention in food security and nutrition studies. A multi-scale framework links the overriding thematic structure, bridges gaps, and enriches analysis. It facilitates a blended approach of analysis for food security and nutrition studies, public policy, and critical geography. Nutrition is at the centre of the inquiry and addresses the triple burden of malnutrition: hunger, micronutrient malnutrition, and obesity. Nutrition is hampered by an incomplete understanding of dietary diversity. Trade and governance are complimentary and cover dynamic commodity exchanges which might develop along with improved programme delivery. At the structural core of the work are four research papers which interact with established and emergent food security indicators and data for: the international system, nations, Indian states, and districts within Karnataka. Each paper uses specific methodological tools which are most compatible with the unique characteristics of the relevant scale. The first paper applies benchmarking and compares international FAO food security indictors with the EIU and other best practice sources to argue for improved data. In order to inform malnutrition beyond hunger, the second paper inputs FAOSTAT national food balance sheet data into a dietary food supply model of key nutritional food groups for medium activity individuals. The third paper employs Indiastat data to construct a food potential model representative of major components of the Indian food system, and compares it with production information for pulse varieties for inclusion in the NFSA. The fourth paper creates a nutritional HDI, compares it against the production of cereals and pulses, and considers weather conditions. Results illustrate that the FAO does not give proper attention to including governance indicators or capturing dietary diversity beyond hunger. Food balance sheet data shows that the majority of the world lacks the proper supply of key food groups to sustain a medium activity lifestyle, with fruit & vegetable deficits equally present in developed and developing nations. In India, states with the lowest food potential are located in the north and east of the country while some neighbouring states contain pulse production advantages. Further opportunities exist to use digital technologies to improve the administration of the programme. Similarly, northern districts of Karnataka require more direct NFSA intervention while the southern and coastal districts have the potential for increased production and trade of pulses. Implications for this study are centred on the development of future food security and nutritional health studies, policy, and administration. When possible, food security and nutrition studies can broaden their conclusions by expanding their base of indicators and data to take into account multi-disciplinary information. Possibilities for richer studies are evident through the development of more robust governance and dietary diversity indicators. These could focus on measurable programme results and take into account the impact of food groups and nutritional supply on various types of malnutrition. Multi-scale analysis might inspire cross-boundary policy formulation and assist in the development and trade of food system resources. The administration of food security programmes might improve with further study and the use of technology as a tool for delivery. This thesis clarifies how multi-scale approaches to food security and nutrition can be advanced through conceptual, methodological, and empirical work combining critical engagement, data analysis, and public policy.
Supervisor: Bhagwat, Shonil ; Whatmore, Sarah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Food security--Developing countries ; Nutrition policy--India