A new book co-authored by Dr. Shailendra Gajanan, professor of economics, is the first to examine the economics of nutrition policy.
Gajanan has again teamed up with co-author Suresh C. Babu of the International Food Policy Research Institute to research and write “Nutrition Economics: Principles and Policy Applications.
“The subject of nutrition policy is impossibly wide, with thousands of specialists across the globe looking at different angles,” Gajanan said. Nonetheless, he and his co-authors, Suresh C. Babu of the International Food Policy Research Institute and J. Arne Hallam of Iowa State University, have attempted to fill the need for a baseline general book about current knowledge in the emerging field of nutrition economics.
Nutrition economics as studied by Gajanan, Babu and Arne, looks at how economic policy can affect public nutrition. For example, are school lunch programs the best way to get nutritious food to hungry children?
Two years ago, Gajanan and Babu worked together with a third partner to write the second edition of Babu's book “Food Security, Poverty and Nutrition Analysis.”
As a senior researcher at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Babu travels the globe evaluating food policy and advising policymakers. He served as a frontline information gatherer for the new book, sharing with Gajanan field notes and new case studies of what is and isn't working around the world.
Hallam is a professor of economics at one of the United States' premier agricultural schools and provided information on the emerging research into affordable ways to feed a hungry world.
Gajanan combined his collaborators' research with that of other scholars to provide an overview of the current state of nutrition economics.
Gajanan spends considerable time in the work examining obesity and malnutrition, examining both the way individual households, governments and non-governmental organizations around the world make decisions.
He also explains how to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and provides tools for policy makers and practitioners to examine their effectiveness.
While Gajanan wrote the book primarily as a text for a one-semester advanced undergraduate or first-year graduate course, he said it is also designed to help government policy analysts get up to speed on nutrition policy analysis and program evaluation issues.
Gajanan also makes a point to include sidebars examining controversies of interest to a general readership.
“This book is for anyone who believes that good nutrition is essential for productive human lives and wants to be a part of making it happen,” said Dr. Jan Low of the International Potato Center and 2016 World Food Prize Laureate.