Holding no-one back

This event, hosted by UK think tank the Institute of Development Studies, will discuss and explore the nutrition equity framework in theory and practice.

The global distribution of malnutrition is remarkably unequal, and rates of malnutrition are also starkly unequal between population groups within countries: There are important differences between those from richer or poorer households, those with higher or lower educational attainment, women and men, or between urban and rural areas, for instance. These measurable inequalities in malnutrition outcomes point to the inequitable and unjust distribution of malnutrition: a comprehensible and avoidable situation of inequity holding certain people back from healthy foods and diets, and other factors that ensure their proper nourishment. Equity has been poorly conceptualised in current nutrition frameworks and policy approaches, and this seminar presents the Nutrition Equity Framework (NEF), a new framework that can be used to identify priorities for nutrition research and action with a focus on equity. The framework illustrates how social and political processes structure the food, health and care environments most important to nutrition. Central to the framework are processes of unfairness, injustice and exclusion as the engine of nutrition inequity across place, time and generations, ultimately influencing both nutritional status and people’s space to act. The seminar will present the framework, and discuss conceptually and practically how action on the socio-political determinants of nutrition is the most fundamental and sustainable way of improving nutrition equity for everyone everywhere, through ‘equity-sensitive


Professor Nicholas Nisbett is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS, UK), where he co-leads the Health and Nutrition Cluster. Nisbett’s work explores the political economy of nutrition policy and programming in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and he has published research on national and international nutrition governance and policy processes, social accountability and collective action for community level nutrition services.

Dr Jody Harris holds research leadership positions exploring the practice, politics and ethics of food and nutrition policy. She is currently lead researcher on global food systems at the World Vegetable Center, where she brings an equity and ethics lens to understanding how people can eat healthily from socio-political perspectives; and she retains a Research Fellow position at the Institute of Development Studies, where she has focused on developing multi-disciplinary theory of equity for nutrition, and empirical work on the right to nutrition.

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