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Acknowledging, measuring and acting on the importance of water for food and nutrition

Recognizing the importance of experiences with water insecurity in the context of food and nutrition is a powerful way to act on the Food and Agriculture Organization’s call to “take water action for food and be the change” on World Food Day.

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Fig. 1: Adjusted odds ratios (with 95% confidence intervals) of moderate-to-severe food insecurity among those who experienced moderate-to-severe water insecurity (IWISE score ≥12) relative to those who experienced water security or mild water insecurity (IWISE score < 12) in nationally representative samples from 25 countries in the 2020 Gallup World Poll (n = 31,755).
Fig. 2: Issues with water — too much, too little, and poor quality — can shape many of the determinants of maternal and child malnutrition.


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We gratefully acknowledge the many colleagues and collaborators who have helped to shape the thinking in this piece, including the Water Insecurity Experiences — Latin American and Caribbean (WISE-LAC) network and the Household Water Insecurity Experiences — Research Coordination Network (HWISE-RCN). S.L.Y. acknowledges support for a Visiting Professorship from the Leverhulme Trust Foundation. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

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Correspondence to Sera L. Young.

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Young, S.L., Bethancourt, H.J., Cafiero, C. et al. Acknowledging, measuring and acting on the importance of water for food and nutrition. Nat Water 1, 825–828 (2023).

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