Evolution of energy and nutrient supply in Zambia (1961-2013) in the context of policy, political, social, economic, and climatic changes

Ndashe Philemon Kapulu, Heather Clark, Simon Manda, Harriet Elizabeth Smith, Caroline Orfila, Jennie Macdiarmid* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


An adequate supply of energy, micronutrients and macronutrients is essential to achieve food and nutrition security to prevent malnutrition. Socio-economic, political, and climatic events, however, can affect the supply of food and nutrients. We assessed country-level supply trends of food and nutrients and their sources within the context of policy changes and political, socio-economic and climatic events from 1961 to 2013 in Zambia. Due to the lack of national food consumption data, food supply data from the FAO food balance sheets, matched to food composition tables, were used to estimate the energy, macronutrient and micronutrient content of 264 food items available to Zambia. We calculated historical nutrient supplies based on demographic characteristics and population-level dietary requirements. Results showed that Zambia was nutrition insecure from 1961 to 2013 for key micronutrients vitamin A, folate, riboflavin, vitamin B12, calcium, zinc, iron, and energy-deficient from the late-1980s. The diet has not substantially changed over time, with maize being the dominant food source. However, refined energy-dense food has steadily increased in the diet coupled with a reduction in fibre. These nutrient supply and dietary pattern trends coincide with specific socio-economic, policy, political, and climatic events from the 1970s to the early-mid 2000s, such as population growth, maize subsidy and crop diversification policies, regime change and drought. This study shows how policy, political and climatic events have been central features shaping nutrient supplies and the consequences for nutrition security. The study provides a context to inform future food policies to improve food and nutrition security.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalFood Security
Early online date22 Nov 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2022


  • Micronutrients
  • Food balance sheets
  • Food security
  • Nutrition Security
  • Policy
  • Zambia


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of energy and nutrient supply in Zambia (1961-2013) in the context of policy, political, social, economic, and climatic changes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this