Shaping the Science of Tomorrow

Lawrence Haddad

Executive Director

Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

Dr Lawrence Haddad is a South African-born British economist. He was appointed the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) in October 2016. Working with partners around the world, GAIN aims to make healthier food choices more affordable, more available, and more desirable. GAIN’s purpose is to improve nutrition outcomes by increasing the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially the most vulnerable.

Prior to this, Dr Haddad was the founding co-chair and lead author of the Global Nutrition Report and was the Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), the world’s leading development studies institute. Before joining IDS in 2004, he was Director of the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute and was a UK representative on the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts of the UN’s Committee on World Food Security.

In 2018, the World Food Prize Foundation awarded the World Food Prize to Dr Haddad and Dr David Nabarro, former special adviser to the UN Secretary General. They received the award for their individual and complementary global leadership in elevating maternal and child undernutrition to a central issue within the food security and development dialogue at national and international levels.


Abstract

Why animal-source foods need to be part of the global food security and nutrition agenda

A number of recent reports on diets and food systems have generated a great deal of divisive debate about the role of animal source foods in the human diet. The media have latched on to these debates and have, in some cases, accentuated the divides. This presentation will emphasise not division, but inequality. It is the inequality in what people eat that needs to be addressed. Many people eat far too much animal sourced food: too much for their health and too much for the planet’s environmental health. But many also eat too little animal sourced food—these foods are rich sources of micronutrients that are essential for young infant and child growth and are not available in other affordable foods for these populations who tend to be low income. So a nuanced approach to animal sourced foods is needed. Those who eat too much for their good health and who put unnecessary stress on the planet’s environmental resources should eat less and those who are undernourished with very monotonous diets would benefit from eating more. This presentation explores this contested terrain and aims to improve clarity in the policy space surrounding animal source foods.