The Importance of the Right to Food for Achieving Global Health

January 1, 2016
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Emilie K. Aguirre

The Importance of the Right to Food for Achieving Global Health, 9 Global Health Governance 164 (2015).

The Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) represents a significant opportunity to realize the right to health globally. However, in order to succeed the FCGH must take a new evidence-based approach that departs from past shortcomings in realizing the right to health. Central to this approach is recognizing, formally incorporating, and operationalizing the right to adequate food. This right should be correctly interpreted as a right to a standard of nutritional quality and not as a right to a minimum number of calories. This article outlines several ways the right to adequate food can be operationalized in tandem with the right to health, including through formal enshrinement in health and other policies, and through the enactment of several types of measures to improve dietary behaviors and health outcomes. Aguirre argues that incorporating a broadly conceived right to adequate food into the FCGH acknowledges and formally takes steps to address nutrition’s critical role in realizing the right to health, particularly for the most deprived populations and will improve its chances of success.

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