In Vietnam, diets are changing rapidly, and interventions need to be carefully targeted to assure healthy transitions. Researchers must consider multiple entry points into communities, with a particular focus on women and youth, including schools, and traditional to modern markets in neighborhoods as spaces to influence purchasing decisions. Studying the influence of urban food environments and retail diversity, together with nutrition and food safety knowledge and attitudes, on consumer decision making, and subsequently diet quality, helps explain connections between consumer choice and diet diversity. Other issue to consider include working with producers to understand how innovative incentives might impact decisions made by smallholders, and assessing both urban and rural settings to better understand markets and how policies might address the broad and varying food sector. As the pieces of the puzzle come more into focus, researchers can work with policymakers on targeted interventions in the broader food system to provide opportunities for healthier diets in this dynamic setting.
Snapshot of a national food system, guided by the Compendium Of Indicators For Food System Assessment
Food systems, that is, the full set of processes, activities, infrastructure, and environment that encompass the production, distribution, waste disposal,
Stef de Haan is A4NH's Country Coordinator in Vietnam, and Regional Program Management Officer for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture