Policy assessment and strategy development to promote healthy and sustainable food environments in West Africa
West Africa, like most low- and middle-income countries, faces the triple burden of malnutrition. Despite widespread international recognition of this burden as a major public health problem, slow and insufficient government action to improve food environments (which have changed dramatically in recent decades) continues to foster all forms of malnutrition and related non-communicable diseases. The challenge for the region is to generate scientific evidence that improves understanding of food policies and systems, as well as their impact on healthy food environments.
Using the Food-EPI tool developed by INFORMAS, this project will evaluate nutrition policies and identify actions to improve these policies and their support infrastructures in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo. These evaluations will complement a Food-EPI analysis that was completed in Senegal, which produced evidence about the exposure of children and the rest of the Senegalese population to food advertising and helped to inform and strengthen the regulatory framework aimed at restricting exposure.
In addition to creating healthy and sustainable food environments and building the capacity of researchers, the multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral nature of this project will produce a participatory and inclusive agenda of priority actions for West Africa. This agenda will serve as an instrument for political decision-making and the development of strategic plans for nutrition, health, and environmental sustainability.