Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition

Partners - Denmark

Department of Human Nutrition, University of Copenhagen

The Department of Human Nutrition is internationally recognised for research and education in a wide range of fields within human nutrition. Within the department, the Research group of Paediatric and International Nutrition has established special expertise in performing studies of healthy and undernurished infants and children. The research includes monitoring growth, body composition, development milestones as well as cardiovascular measures, physical activity and food consumption pattern. Specifically in the field of international nutrition, the group has special expertise in performing studies in developing countries aimed at establishing scientific basis for for development programmes that may contribute to alleviating malnutrition. In collaboration with local partners, the Department examined the effects of diet and micronutrient supplementation on growth and nutrient status in pregnant women and children; examined the relation between nutritional status and infections (TB, HIV) and studied the relations between food production/availability, diet, nutrient intake and nutritional status.

Key personnel

Dr Nanna Roos

Dr Nanna Roos, Associate Professor with extensive experience in research and research capacity in the linkages between human nutrition and aquaculture and fisheries. She completed a Ph.D. on aquaculture and nutrition in Bangladesh, which emphasized the potential for integrating nutrient dense small indigenous fish species in rural polyculture pond production to the benefit of increasing the intake of important micronutrients. This was followed up by 10 years continued engagement in research and research capacity building with focus on nutrition in developing countries, specifically the role of fish and other aquatic animals in food and nutrition security. The research has been conducted through research projects funded by the research council of Danida, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark, and by international donors. She is at present in charge of the project “Alleviating childhood malnutrition in developing countries through improved utilization and processing of traditional foods – WINFOOD” (2008-2012) (www.WINFOOD.ORG), with collaborative research in Cambodia and Kenya. Within the WinFood project in Cambodia, food for young children based on rice, indigenous fish and an edible spider have been developed in collaboration with research partners in Fisheries Administration and a local SME, ‘So’Nutritious’. The project is in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) and a local NGO now being tested for nutritional impact (growth, body composition, micronutrient status, physical activity, development milestones) in a randomized intervention study with 440 children age 6-15 months. This research project is a continuation of previous collaborative research projects with focus on fish as a source of nutrients in poor households, e.g. “The role of fish on food and nutrition security in developing countries: focus on combating micronutrient deficiency” (2004-2007) and “Content and bioavailability of iron, zinc and vitamin A in commonly consumed foods in developing countries” (2001-2004).

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