Catalyzing food environment policy actions towards a healthy diet and prevention of the double burden of malnutrition in Kenya
There is a rising double burden of malnutrition in many low- and middle-income countries, largely driven by unhealthy food environments. Kenya lacks policies for regulating the food environment, leading to a high level of unhealthy food consumption and vulnerability to lack of access to nutritious foods. The Kenyan government has recently made significant commitments to food-systems change, including through collaboration between the ministries of health and agriculture.
The goal of this project is to respond to this readiness for change. It will build evidence and mobilize multi-stakeholder actions toward a policy bundle for healthier and more equitable consumer food environments that reduce the double burden of malnutrition. The focus will be on a double-duty bundle of four food environment policies that prevent consumption of unhealthy diets and promote consumption of nutrient-rich and energy-dense healthy foods. Implementation of two (food labelling and public procurement) of the four priority policies will be supported by impact evaluations and implementation research. Other policy development (regulation of food marketing to children and fiscal policies) will also be modelled for effectiveness. Pathways to change will be researched for the whole policy bundle. A nutrient profiling model for Kenya currently under development will be completed and rigorously evaluated to inform the development and application of the policy bundle.
A multi-disciplinary coalition of government and food-system leaders will bring expertise in nutrition, public health, standards and regulations, advocacy and research to implement this project. This broad-based collaboration working with existing infrastructure and programs will make it scalable and sustainable.
This project will be funded through the Catalyzing Change for Health and Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, a co-funding partnership between IDRC and the Rockefeller Foundation.