Along with high economic growth over a period of somewhat more than the past three decades, poverty, household food insecurity, and undernutrition have substantially declined in Ghana. Ghana was one of the first African countries that achieved the first MDG, that of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. Recently, Ghana achieved (lower-) middle-income-country status. Economic growth has been accompanied by a structural transformation of the economy and progressing urbanization. Household income growth improves people’s ability to afford nutritious foods and diversified diets, and allows them to utilize superior healthcare and higher education, contributing to healthier and more productive lives for themselves and their children. However, improvements in people’s living standards and changes in their livelihood activities and lifestyle usually also lead to a nutrition transition and give rise to new nutritional challenges, including increasing prevalence of overweight/obesity and related NCDs. To successfully address these new nutritional challenges, governments may need to launch new health and nutrition programs and revisit established food policies that have become inefficient in reducing food insecurity and malnutrition or even detrimental under the new circumstances.
Ecker, Olivier and Fang, Peixun. 2016. Economic development and nutrition transition in Ghana: Taking stock of food consumption patterns and trends. In Achieving a nutrition revolution for Africa: The road to healthier diets and optimal nutrition. Covic, Namukolo and Hendriks, Sheryl L. (Eds.). Chapter 4. Pp. 28-50. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). http://dx.doi.org/10.2499/9780896295933_04