Agriculture, Food & Health

CGGC has been involved in groundbreaking research on global health issues, including how food and trade affect healthy diets.

In the summer of 2007 researchers at CGGC were contacted by representatives of the NICHD, McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and the WHO to participate in a series of conferences in fall 2007 that would highlight new approaches to studying childhood obesity. Researchers at CGGC were specifically asked by organizers of the McGill Health Challenge and the WHO Early-Stage Expert Meeting on Trade and Healthy Diets to write a framework paper that would outline how researchers should address the multi levels of analysis which are needed to capture the various determinants of childhood obesity.

In the paper, CGGC researchers described how the global value chains framework is a useful analytic tool to understand how international economic processes, particularly the role of transnational corporations, impact the structural conditions. These conditions make certain types of food available that can potentially impact childhood obesity rates in both developed and developing countries. A second version of the paper that focuses more specifically on trade and connecting a global value chains framework to consumption habits will be published in an edited book based on the WHO conference reports in 2009.