Purnima MenonSenior Director, Food and Nutrition Policy, CGIAR & International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), India

Purnima Menon

Dr. Purnima Menon is Senior Director, Food and Nutrition Policy, for the CGIAR and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).  She oversees three units within IFPRI and the CGIAR Systems Transformation Science Group: Nutrition, Diets, and Health (NDH); Poverty, Gender, and Inclusion (PGI); and Markets, Trade, and Institutions (MTI).  Dr. Menon is based in New Delhi, India in a global leadership role for IFPRI.   She was previously senior research fellow in IFPRI’s Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division. She has extensive research experience on evaluating large-scale programs in nutrition, health systems, agriculture, gender, technology, and on food systems for better nutrition. She collaborates widely across disciplines and invests deeply in research translation with policy communities.  Dr. Menon has a PhD in International Nutrition from Cornell University, an MSc in Nutrition from University of Delhi and has research experience in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Ethiopia, Haiti and Vietnam.

Talk: “Eating is an agricultural act”: Understanding consumers and markets to reshape food systems for better nutrition

Abstract: Consumer demand is a critical driver of what foods are available in markets and what foods are produced around the world. Understanding how people eat, how they choose to engage with markets and food environments, and how these choices and actions shape other efforts in agricultural value chains and food systems is a critically important area of research. In particular, understanding how young people engage with the food system in diverse parts of the world is essential to understand the future of food systems as is understanding how gendered household dynamics around food systems affect diets. In this lecture, I will use data from diverse settings on how families and young people engage with the food system around their own diets to characterize some patterns and common challenges. I will combine these insights with evidence from interventions and policies that are essential to address social, economic and market constraints to healthy diets for all.

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