What Opportunities Exist for Making the Food Supply Nutrition Friendly? A Policy Space Analysis in Mexico

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Master’s and Doctorate Program in Medical and Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

2 Menzies Centre for Health Policy, School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

3 Faculty of Economics, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

4 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

5 Center for Research in Nutrition and Health, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico

6 National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT), Mexico City, Mexico

Abstract

Background 
As part of a global policy response for addressing malnutrition, food system actions have been proposed. Within food system interventions, policies directed to supply chains have the potential to increase the availability and affordability of a healthy diet. This qualitative study aimed to identify opportunities to integrate nutrition as a priority into the food supply policy space in Mexico.

Methods 
Data were collected through analysis of 19 policy documents and 20 semi-structured stakeholder interviews. As an analytical framework, we used policy space analysis and embedded the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) and the steps of the food chain of the conceptual framework of food systems for diets and nutrition.

Results 
Policy issues relevant to nutrition were viewed differently in the economic and agricultural sectors versus the health sector. Overall, the main policy objective related to nutrition within the economic and agricultural sectors was to contribute to food security in terms of food quantity. Nutrition was an objective in itself only in the health sector, with a focus on food quality. Our policy space analysis reveals an opportunity to promote a new integrated vision with the recent creation of an intersectoral group working on the public agenda for a food system transformation. This newer integrative narrative on food systems presents an opportunity to shift the existing food security narrative from quantity towards considerations of diet quality.

Conclusion 
The political context and public agenda are favorable to pursue a food system transformation to deliver sustainable healthy diets. Mexico can provide a case study for other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) for putting nutrition at the center of food policy, despite the ongoing constraints on achieving this.

Keywords


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Articles in Press, Corrected Proof
Available Online from 28 November 2021
  • Receive Date: 10 December 2020
  • Revise Date: 25 November 2021
  • Accept Date: 27 November 2021