Most of the world of the world’s population now lives in large conurbations. The characteristics of these metropolitan areas are that they are ethnically and socially diverse and a high proportion of food is consumed outside the home or ready prepared. Workers and children spent a lot of time travelling to work and school respectively. At the same time, shift work is needed to maintain the transport infrastructure and food supply. Individuals can no longer rely on traditional support networks of families. Single-parent families and teenage pregnancies are prevalent and homelessness is a major problem. These conditions present major challenges for improving nutrition. The purpose of this conference was to assess the magnitude of the problem and discuss potential solutions.
GAIN's Executive Director, Lawrence Haddad‘s presentation focused on the challenges and opportunities for urban nutrition in low and middle income. Rapidly growing urban populations in low and middle income countries present plenty of challenges and opportunities to efforts to end malnutrition in all its forms. There are new platforms, actors and resources in urban spaces. But there are also new drivers of malnutrition. We need to identify and work with these new possibilities while moderating the drivers. This presentation outlines these issues and draws out the implications for research.