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Food systems dynamics and nutritional impacts in the transitioning Global South

Research Project Description
Andrew Jones, Lesli Michelle Hoey, Jennifer Blesh

The overall research objective of this proposal is to characterize household- and neighborhood-level food system typologies in two regions of Bolivia that are undergoing rapid demographic and nutrition transitions: El Alto, a highland city located in western Bolivia, and Santa Cruz, located in the lowland Amazonian region of eastern Bolivia. In these two contrasting regions experiencing rapid urbanization we propose to determine the extent to and mechanisms by which different food system configurations and resulting food environments affect the nutritional status of vulnerable groups. Our central hypothesis is that these food systems exhibit distinct typologies across a spectrum of urban and rural environments such that peri-urban and rural regions are characterized by differences in food availability, access, acquisition and consumption. We further hypothesize that food system typologies in transition regions (i.e. peri-urban areas) are associated with a decreased reliance on subsistence production and an increased risk of malnutrition among preschool-aged children and women of reproductive age.

Funding: Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation (Roundtable Research Agreement)

Funding Period: 1/1/2015 to 12/31/2017

International Focus: Bolivia