Haiti Foodscapes

This pilot study, funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research, set in Haiti builds on the recently completed feasibility work in Jamaica and on related work in the Global Diet and Activity Research Group and Network (GDAR: https://gdarnet.org/). The study will use readily available historical data to track how the food supply and environments have changed in Port au Prince since 1945, and how these changes relate to trends in the burden of nutrition related conditions, including non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In addition, as part of informing further work, this pilot study will include stakeholder and data availability mapping exercises.
This pilot study will investigate the evolution of foodscapes in the Haitian capital, Port au Prince, since 1945, thus building on the work in Kingston Jamaica and complementing research on sustainable urban development in GDAR. Port au Prince and its metropolitan area is home to around 2.6 million people, roughly a quarter of Haiti’s population. Haiti suffers from a high triple burden of malnutrition. For example, according to the 2018 Global Nutrition Report: 22% of children aged under 5 have stunting of growth; 46% of women of reproductive age (WRA) are anaemic; and 58% of adult women, 51% men, are overweight or obese. In contrast, the figures for Jamaica are 6% (childhood stunting), 22.5% (anaemia WRA) and 63% (overweight/obese women), 47% men.
This mixed methods pilot study aims to explore how changes in foodscapes in Port au Prince relate to changes in the burdens of malnutrition. It is intended that the study’s findings will inform further policy relevant research and thus contribute evidence to support intersectoral actions to improve nutrition. The work will be undertaken as three student projects: carried out by students at l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti and the University of Exeter.