Gabriela B. Nardoto

Brasília, University of Brasília, Brazil
Title : Rural-urban nutrition transition in Brazil

Abstract

The livelihood and food of rural communities is changing due to greater access to urban areas and their market economy. To characterize the rural-urban nutrition transition in different geographical regions in the Brazilian territory the main influencing factors of this shift in food patterns was associated to the use of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes of fingernails of more than 5000 inhabitants across Brazil to determine the source and trophic chain diversity of food. Access to town and government subsidies is significantly associated with the reduction of subsistence farming and the consumption of Brazilian staple foods (rice and beans). A gradual food change from plant-derived C3 (more natural) to C4 (more processed) sources of food containing less food items with an increase of ?13C and a decrease of ?15N toward the urban areas followed the same pattern across the geographical regions. These results indicate a transition pattern from locally produced foods to processed items that increases with greater urban access and more government subsidies in rural settings. Such procedure enabled the identification of multiple factors influencing the nutrition transition process in rural-urban gradient and revealed a pattern change involving a shift from the consumption of wild/native items to processed foodstuffs. Urban access and the way in which government subsidies have been implemented in those rural areas has impacted local livelihoods, compromising the re-elaboration of food habits and traditional farming. Together with the burden of diseases associated with the nutrition transition it is crucial to have efforts to increase awareness of health problems caused by those diet changes, empowering people to make their own food choices by balancing the beneficial and the deleterious health effects of the nutrition transition.

Biography

Gabriela B. Nardoto has completed her PhD at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. She is an Associate Professor at the Ecology Department of the University of Brasília, Brazil. She has over 70 publications that have been cited over 2500 times, and her publication h-index is 23. She has been serving as an editorial board member of some reputed journals and as a reviser of several international journals in different subjects.