About this Research Topic
Inadequate access to nutritious food results in poor diets, and this nutrition insecurity is common in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as local diets often lack micronutrients. Respective dietary risks are especially caused by low fruit and especially vegetable and animal product consumption. Preferred staple foods (maize, millet, etc.) in the region mainly contain starch, but micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin A are often lacking or have a low bioavailability. This challenge of “hidden hunger” is substantially reducing developing opportunities for millions of people, although countries and donors increasingly committed themselves to overcome this pressing issue. The paradigm of “food shortage” has increasingly evolved to a paradigm of “nutritious food shortage”. In contrast to food insecurity, the effects of nutrition insecurity often remain invisible for extended periods of time. For example, once the “window of opportunity” (the first 1000 days of a person’s life) has closed, negative effects such as stunting may hinder affected individuals from achieving their full potential during their lifetime.
In Eastern Africa and especially Tanzania, a number of strategies have already been tested and applied to combat nutrition insecurity and to guarantee micronutrient sufficiency. These strategies include the quantitative improvement of agricultural production and processing with focus on green leafy vegetables, as well as education strategies to raise awareness among the affected population. Furthermore, economic trade strategies that allow access to processed foods during dry seasons are part of the common approaches to overcome micronutrient deficiency.
In line with this, this Research Topic aims at summoning papers that outline approaches to combat nutrient insecurity via diverse trajectories, particularly in Eastern Africa and Tanzania. Specifically welcome are Original Research papers that focus on overcoming micronutrient deficiency and nutrition sensitive strategy development, as well as Short Reviews and Review papers analyzing past developments in the field and region. Perspective papers are also welcome, for example those that focus on comments and the analyses of policy developments within this emerging field.
Keywords: Tanzania, Nutrition Security, Food Security
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