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Human Health and Nutrition

The goal of improving human health and nutrition, broadly speaking, provides inspiration for conducting research with real-world effects. Moreover, addressing malnutrition and the needs of underprivileged people in developing countries provide continuous challenges.

Effects of malnutrition appear across a spectrum of levels, ranging from individual children to nations and international regions. Poor nutrition has direct, negative impacts on household productivity, education levels, and income-earning potential, and good nutrition is essential for sustainable economic growth. In developing countries, growth in the agricultural sector has demonstrated greater reduction in stunting than economic growth in the nonagricultural sector.

Livestock Production

Livestock holders are more likely than their non-holding counterparts to consume animal-source foods because of their proximity to the nutrient-rich foods. Three specific pathways, though not linear, allow for livestock production to affect nutrition: food production, income generation, and women’s empowerment. Through each of these pathways, which contribute to a complex web of relationships, the livestock system ultimately affects nutrient intake and health status—the immediate determinants of nutrition.

Although nearly two-thirds of rural, resource-poor households are livestock holders, most poor rural families remain net purchasers of food rather than producers. Access to these foods has immediate health benefits when the foods are consumed and may nutritionally and economically buffer families through the dry season when grain availability is limited and costly.

Integrating Nutrition & Gender into Research

Created for researchers, this video series shares guidance on how to design and accomplish projects that incorporate nutrition and gender issues, which are becoming standard requirements for research for development projects.

The Human Health and Nutrition team is led by Dr. Sarah McKune.

 Sarah McKune

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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems

This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and it Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems managed by the University of Florida and the International Livestock Research Institute. The contents are the responsibility of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock systems and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.