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Last February, Cornell Nutrition presented the Program in International Nutrition Seminar with three special guests: Elizabeth Fox, Anna Herforth and Rebecca Heidkamp.

The first seminar was held on Thursday 7th and was titled “Sustainable food systems for children and adolescents”. The speaker was Elizabeth Fox, PhD, who is a nutritionist and a social scientist working on improving the design and implementation of nutrition policies such that they effectively reach intended beneficiaries in culturally sensitive ways. She is doing research on food and nutrition ethics, including ethical questions related to nutrition. Her work centers on the ethical aspects of nutrition policy decisions, and individuals’ nutritional experiences in the context of value tradeoffs. Related to her interests towards a sustainable food system for the younger generations, Elizabeth is also working at the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program (GFEPP) at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. The two projects are aiming at (1) identifying ways to reduce U.S. beef consumption to levels that sustain planetary and human health; and (2) empowering eaters by enabling informed ethical decision making around food choices.


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The second seminar talk was given by Dr. Anna Herforth who focused on “New metrics for monitoring food and diet globally”. Her current focus on diet quality, food affordability, and food environment measurement stems from a decade of consulting for international organizations on the topic of linking agriculture and nutrition. Based on the model of the Food Agriculture and Nutrition Group (FANG) while in grad school, Dr. Herforth and Dr. Emily Levitt Ruppert co-founded the Agriculture-Nutrition Community of Practice (Ag2Nut) in 2010. This is a global network of professionals working on issues pertaining to the intersection of agriculture and nutrition to facilitate information sharing and networking. The community of practice is designed to be a virtual space for sharing resources to build a common evidence pool, for facilitating communication across sectors, and for developing key messages to communicate to the broader development community.  

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The last event was held the 28th of February and focused on “Data for Decisions to Expand Nutrition Transformation (DataDENT): Partnering to strengthen the global data value chain for nutrition”. The speaker Rebecca Heidkamp is a Faculty member in the Institute for International Programs and the Center for Human Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her applied research is mainly on strengthening data value chains for nutrition and improving the quality of large-scale evaluation and program planning for nutrition programs in Africa and Asia. Nutrition data systems are fragmented and incomplete in many low- and middle-income countries. As a result, it is challenging for governments, development partners, and other nutrition stakeholders to access and use data to assess progress and appropriately allocate resources. DataDENT is a four-year initiative (2017-2021) that aims to transform the availability and use of nutrition data by addressing gaps in nutrition measurement and advocating for stronger nutrition data systems. This program tracks a set of nutrition indicators and identifies ways to promote data use through effective data visualization tools. DataDENT helps stakeholders to advance data systems for nutrition and develop related technical guidance and it advances nutrition intervention measurement and advocacy.


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