Animal Sourced Foods and Child Nutrition in South Asia: Policy Priorities

Animal Sourced Foods and Child Nutrition in South Asia: Policy Priorities

Although some South Asian countries have recently made impressive progress against undernutrition, indicators of maternal and child nutrition remain extremely poor across South Asia. These exceptionally high rates of undernutrition are caused by many underlying factors such as poverty, poor education, and limited access to health, family planning and WASH services. Yet one neglected dimension of South Asia’s undernutrition problem is low intake of animal sourced foods (ASFs). This LANSA brief therefore summarizes recent research from LANSA and other nutritional research programs (ARENA) that address several key policy questions in the South Asian context. Policy priorities:

  • Use agriculture and trade policies to reduce prices of animal sourced foods; 
  • Use behavioral change campaigns, other nutrition and social protection programmes to increase demand for animal sourced foods; 
  • Encourage vegetarian populations to include eggs in the diet, especially for young children; 
  • Raise awareness of human health risks stemming from livestock fecal contamination and zoonotic diseases; 
  • Develop WASH and livestock programmes that reduce human health risks from livestock.