Coherence of Non-communicable Disease Prevention and Agri-food Policies in Argentina
Unhealthy diets have been widely acknowledged as a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In Argentina, the average intake of fruits and vegetables is very low. Promoting healthy diets in low and middle-income countries involves the following objectives: increase of fruit and vegetable consumption; the development of policies linking agriculture and health sectors; and the strengthening of capacities to address food insecurity, malnutrition and obesity. The analysis of conflicts, synergies, and opportunities for improving mutually reinforcing policies between sectors, or policy coherence, is based on the premise that food policies have substantial potential to meaningfully and sustainably improve diets, especially in disadvantaged groups. The overall objective of this study is to contribute to build a greater coherence between agri-food policies and public health policies. The aim is to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, and thus to ultimately promote healthier diets and the prevention of NCDs. The study will analyze the food chain at the national and sub-national levels with a focus on the fruit and vegetable supply chain. It will demonstrate how policies that affect this chain intermingle with NCD prevention policies. Complementary research methods will identify knowledge, attitudes, barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption. The project will use three complementary methods: policy mapping, supply chain analysis, and in-depth interviews. An established policy dialogue with strategic stakeholders involved in food and public health policies will contribute to overcoming inter-sectoral barriers. A set of commonly agreed recommendations will promote novel strategies to improve the coherence between agri-food and public health policies in order to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables in Argentina. IDRC is partnering with the InterAmerican Heart Foundation-Argentina to implement this project.