This year, the 45th edition of the UNSCN Nutrition report from the UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) examines the complexity of the digital world for improved nutrition. Digital technology, in and of itself, cannot fix the world’s food and nutrition problems, nor mend its dysfunctional food systems. However, once improving nutrition is deemed a priority, digital technologies are important tools. The potential of digital technologies to improve nutrition is phenomenal, but so are the risks that these technologies might entail.
Most of the articles we present in UNSCN Nutrition 45 consider the potential-risk duality in a range of food-system perspectives– from food production, transformation and distribution to digital food marketing and retail; from behavioural change and capacity-building, including through social media, to the generation, processing and use of data; and from the protection of vulnerable groups to issues of inequality and human rights.
We chose the theme of UNSCN Nutrition 45 – Nutrition in a Digital World long before we had even heard of COVID-19. Digitalization has been playing a key role ever since, enabling vital parts of the world economy to continue functioning, allowing us to remain connected and giving us access to numerous public services, including those directly related to the pandemic. Another wake-up call on the need to enhance our knowledge and further the debate on the potential benefits and adverse impacts of innovative digital technologies in helping to achieve sustainable healthy diets and progressively realize the right to adequate food.
This article originally appeared on the UNSCN website.
You can access the document here.
Photo - Mohammad Rakibul Hasan/ FAO