Study highlights link between tree cover and nutrition in children

BOGOR, Indonesia (20 January 2014) — Children living in areas of Africa with heavy tree cover tend to have more nutritious diets, adding credence to research showing that forests play a key role in food security, according to a new paper published in Global Environmental Change.

Boosting production of such energy-rich crops as rice, maize and wheat is often seen as essential to achieving global food security, but if this comes at the expense of forests, this might actually undermine nutritional security.

“Our research shows that children in Africa living in communities surrounded by forest cover have higher dietary diversity and more fruit and vegetable consumption,” said Amy Ickowitz, an economist with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). “In these areas, dietary diversity increases with tree cover, suggesting that in heavily treed areas, children have healthier diets.”

Read the full blog post at the CIFOR FORESTSnews.

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