We have an unprecedented global challenge - to feed a growing population and one that is increasingly living in urban areas.  It’s estimated that by 2050, 66% of the world’s population will live in cities and much of this urban growth will take place in developing countries.  Food systems are transforming to meet demand in geographically dispersed towns, small and medium cities, as well as in mega cities (> 10 million people) which numbered 10 in 1990, 28 in 2014, and may be 41 by 2030.  Diets in poor, urban areas are changing as women enter the work force and seek out time and labor saving food options.  A growing and affluent middle class in Asia, Latin America and Africa is also driving significant changes in preferred foods, with increasing consumption of perishable foods like meat, dairy and fresh fruit and vegetables.

These and other drivers of food choice in low and middle income countries were explored in the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute Scientific Session on January 23, 2017, with presentations from experts who shared their research and perspectives on how we may address this global revolution in food systems.



Dr. Christine Blake

Associate Professor, Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior,  Arnold School of Public Health
University of South Carolina

Dr. Adam Drewnowski

Professor, Epidemiology, Director, Center for Public Health Nutrition, School of Public Health
University of Washington

Dr. Jessica Fanzo

Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor, Ethics and Global Food & Agriculture
Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Suneetha Kadiyala

Associate Professor in Nutrition-Sensitive Development, Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Dr. Peter Richards

Economic Adviser, Global Engagement & Strategy Team, Bureau for Food Security
U.S. Agency for International Development 

Dr. David L. Tschirley

Professor, International Development, Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
Michigan State University

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