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Coming to terms with terminology

During its 39th Session (October 2012), the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) discussed meaning and use of the terms "Food Security", "Food Security and Nutrition", "Food and Nutrition Security" and "Nutrition Security" for official terminology standardization purposes.

The Committee concluded that “food and nutrition security” represents a more integrated way to combine the two concepts, emphasising that the overall objective is to achieve both “food security” and “nutrition security” as a single, unitary goal of policy and programmatic actions. It also argued that this formulation encourages different communities of practice to better integrate their work towards achieving food security and nutrition security objectives.

In terms of a common definition of “food and nutrition security”, the Committee recommended the use of the following: 

Food and nutrition security exists when all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to food, which is safe and consumed in sufficient quantity and quality to meet their dietary needs and food preferences, and is supported by an environment of adequate sanitation, health services and care, allowing for a healthy and active life.

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