Determining Key Research Areas for Healthier Diets and Sustainable Food Systems in Viet Nam

IFPRI Discussion Paper 1872, 2019

127 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2019

See all articles by Jessica E. Raneri

Jessica E. Raneri

Bioversity International

Gina Kennedy

Bioversity International

Trang Nguyen

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Dr Sigrid Wertheim-Heck

Wageningen University & Research

Stef de Haan

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Ha Thi Phuong Do

National Institute of Nutrition

Phuong Hong Nguyen

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Huong Le Thi

Hanoi Medical University

Trương Tuyết Mai

National Institute of Nutrition

Thi Thanh Thuy Duong

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Nguyen Hung

CGIAR - International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Tuan Nguyen

FHI 360

Tuyen Huynh

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Giulia Rota Nodari

Bioversity International

Olga Spellman

Bioversity International

Elise F. Talsma

Wageningen University & Research

Dietmar Stoian

Bioversity International

Minh-Cam Duong

Emory University

Lam Nguyen Tran

Rikolto

Christophe Béné

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Date Written: October 10, 2019

Abstract

Vietnamese food systems are undergoing rapid transformation, with important implications for human and environmental health and economic development. Poverty has decreased, and diet quality and under-nutrition have improved significantly since the end of the Doi Moi reform period (1986-1993) as a result of Viet Nam opening its economy and increasing its regional and global trade. Yet poor diet quality is still contributing the triple burden of malnutrition, with 25 percent stunting among children under age 5, 26 percent and 29 percent of women and children, respectively, anemic, and 21 percent of adults overweight. Agricultural production systems have shifted from predominantly diverse smallholder systems to larger more commercialized and specialized systems, especially for crops, while the ‘meatification’ of the Vietnamese diet is generating serious trade-offs between improved nutrition and sustainability of the Vietnamese food systems. The food processing industry has developed rapidly, together with food imports, resulting in new and processed food products penetrating the food retail outlets, trending towards an increase in the Westernized consumption patterns that are shifting nutrition-related problems towards overweight and obesity and, with it, an increase of non-communicable disease-related health risks. While regulatory policies exist across the food system, these are not systematically implemented, making food safety a major concern for consumers and policy makers alike. Where data exists, it is not easy to aggregate with data from across food system dimensions, making it difficult for Viet Nam to make an informed analysis of current and potential food system trade-offs. In our research, we reviewed existing literature and data, and applied a food systems framework to develop an initial food systems profile for Viet Nam and to identify a comprehensive set a of research questions to fill current data gaps identified through the review. Insights on these would provide the comprehensive evidence needed to inform policy makers on how to develop new food systems policies for Viet Nam, and further refine and improve existing policies to achieve better quality diets and more sustainable food systems in Viet Nam. Based on these, we then engaged with stakeholders to develop research priorities in the Viet Nam context and identified 25 priority research questions. This paper aims to stimulate such reflections by clearly outlining key areas for research, government policy, and development programs on priority investment to build the evidence base around inclusive food systems interventions that aim to result in healthier diets and more sustainable food systems for Viet Nam.

Keywords: food systems, diet, nutrition, agriculture

Suggested Citation

Raneri, Jessica E. and Kennedy, Gina and Nguyen, Trang and Wertheim-Heck, Dr Sigrid and de Haan, Stef and Phuong Do, Ha Thi and Nguyen, Phuong Hong and Thi, Huong Le and Mai, Trương Tuyết and Duong, Thi Thanh Thuy and Hung, Nguyen and Nguyen, Tuan and Huynh, Tuyen and Rota Nodari, Giulia and Spellman, Olga and Talsma, Elise F. and Stoian, Dietmar and Duong, Minh-Cam and Tran, Lam Nguyen and Béné, Christophe, Determining Key Research Areas for Healthier Diets and Sustainable Food Systems in Viet Nam (October 10, 2019). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1872, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3468253

Jessica E. Raneri (Contact Author)

Bioversity International ( email )

Via dei Tre Denari 427/a
Maccarese, 00057
Italy

Gina Kennedy

Bioversity International ( email )

Via dei Tre Denari 427/a
Maccarese, 00057
Italy

Trang Nguyen

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) ( email )

KM. 17 Recta Cali - Palmira
Cali, Valle del Cauca
Colombia

Dr Sigrid Wertheim-Heck

Wageningen University & Research ( email )

Netherlands

Stef De Haan

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) ( email )

KM. 17 Recta Cali - Palmira
Cali, Valle del Cauca
Colombia

Ha Thi Phuong Do

National Institute of Nutrition ( email )

India

Phuong Hong Nguyen

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Huong Le Thi

Hanoi Medical University ( email )

1 Tôn Thất Tùng
Hanoi
Vietnam

Trương Tuyết Mai

National Institute of Nutrition ( email )

India

Thi Thanh Thuy Duong

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) ( email )

KM. 17 Recta Cali - Palmira
Cali, Valle del Cauca
Colombia

Nguyen Hung

CGIAR - International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) ( email )

P.O. Box 5689
Ababa
Kenya

Tuan Nguyen

FHI 360 ( email )

Durham, NC
Vietnam

Tuyen Huynh

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) ( email )

KM. 17 Recta Cali - Palmira
Cali, Valle del Cauca
Colombia

Giulia Rota Nodari

Bioversity International ( email )

Via dei Tre Denari 427/a
Maccarese, 00057
Italy

Olga Spellman

Bioversity International ( email )

Via dei Tre Denari 427/a
Maccarese, 00057
Italy

Elise F. Talsma

Wageningen University & Research ( email )

Netherlands

Dietmar Stoian

Bioversity International ( email )

Via dei Tre Denari 427/a
Maccarese, 00057
Italy

Minh-Cam Duong

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Lam Nguyen Tran

Rikolto ( email )

Vietnam

Christophe Béné

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

KM. 17 Recta Cali - Palmira
Cali, Valle del Cauca
Colombia

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