Children living near forests may be better nourished

Children living in areas of Africa with heavy tree cover tend to have more nutritious diets, adding credence to research that says 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."

Other video you might be interested in

Get the CIFOR latest news