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Food and nutrition security: development of indicators and experimentation in a city of Bahia, Brazil

OBJECTIVE: The objective was to propose and apply a methodology that would be sensitive to the phenomenon of food security and viable for monitoring and evaluating small municipalities, using the small, poor city of Mutuípe, in the state of Bahia, Brazil, as an illustration. METHODS: A protocol consisting of 20 indicators which included variables considered capable of expressing the situation of food security in the municipality was developed based on research from national and international sources, the selection of a guiding framework on food and nutrition security, and on the identification of its dimensions. The protocol also contemplates premises that make the model intelligible, means of verification, calculations of the indicators, and the parameters and plan for analysis of the results. RESULTS: The application of the methodology in the municipality proved to be viable. One of the main constraining factors was the lack of relevant data for the measurement of food and nutrition security. Nevertheless, it was possible to identify that food and nutrition insecurity in Mutuípe is moderate, taking into consideration the dimensions of food availability, access, consumption, and biological utilization of nutrients. CONCLUSION: The proposed protocol is operational and capable of expressing the desired situation in small municipalities and is useful for guiding local policies.

Nutrition assessment; Indicators; Food security


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