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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - CGIAR Working Paper: AAS-2013-06
Title Food and nutrition security in Solomon Islands
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
URL http://aquaticcommons.org/11081/1/WF_3544.pdf
Abstract
Solomon Islands is a group of islands situated in Oceania, northeast of Australia. Based on the Human Development Index, the country is ranked as number 142 out of 187. Over 80% of Solomon Islanders live in rural areas, and much of their food supply is from subsistence gardens and the sea. Agricultural production throughout the country is quite diverse due to variations in climate, soil and topography. Increased availability of imported foods, high in carbohydrates and fat is changing the dietary pattern towards a less nutritious diet, and at the same time, lack of cash income limits access to nutrient-rich foods. Fresh marine fish and canned tuna are the most common animal-source foods, however, due to high cost, consumption of marine fish is declining.

The nutritional status of children below five years of age is poor; one-third is stunted (low height-for-age), however, only 4.3% are wasted (low weight-for-height). This indicates that while children may be meeting their energy requirements through the daily diet,
they suffer from micronutrient deficiencies that impair growth and development. The nutritional status of adults is characterized by high rates of overweight (BMI 25–29.9 kg/m2) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2). The prevalence is especially high among women, with 29.9% overweight and 14.2% obese, whereas 25.0% of men are overweight and 5.8% obese. The diet in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life (from conception to the child’s second birthday) is crucial for optimal growth and development. Breastfeeding practices are generally good in Solomon Islands, with 74% of children being exclusively breastfed in the first six months of life. The combination of both stunted children and overweight adults creates a double burden of diseases, as stunting is associated with infectious diseases, whereas overweight increases the risk of non-communicable diseases. This is a huge challenge for the health system that lacks resources and functions poorly, and more importantly, has large negative consequences for individual and national development.

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Andersen, A.B., S.H. Thilsted, and A.M. Schwarz. "Food and nutrition security in Solomon Islands." CGIAR Working Paper: AAS-2013-06 (2013).
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