Hungry Cities: The Global Revolution in Food Systems

ILSI Research Foundation Scientific Session 2017
La Jolla, CA, USA
8:30am – 12:30pm
Hilton Torrey Pines


We have an unprecedented global challenge - to feed a growing population and one that is increasingly living in urban areas.  It’s estimated that by 2050, 66% of the world’s population will live in cities and much of this urban growth will take place in developing countries.  Food systems are transforming to meet demand in geographically dispersed towns, small and medium cities, as well as in mega cities (> 10 million people) which numbered 10 in 1990, 28 in 2014, and may be 41 by 2030.  Diets in poor, urban areas are changing as women enter the work force and seek out time and labor saving food options.  A growing and affluent middle class in Asia, Latin America and Africa is also driving significant changes in preferred foods, with increasing consumption of perishable foods like meat, dairy and fresh fruit and vegetables.

These and other drivers of food choice in low and middle income countries were explored in the ILSI Research Foundation Scientific Session on January 23, 2017, with presentations from experts who shared their research and perspectives on how we may address this global revolution in food systems.

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Speaker Presentations

Dr. David L. Tschirley

Keynote: Urbanization, Food Systems and the Diet Transformation in Developing Countries: What do we know, and what do we need to know?

Dr. Christine Blake

Understanding Drivers of Food Choice in Diverse and Dynamic Settings: Conceptual and Methodological Innovations

Dr. Suneetha Kadiyala

Agriculture, Food Systems and Nutrition Linkages: Lessons Learned and Emerging Priorities

Dr. Peter Richards

Urbanization and USAID’s Value Chain Approach for Rural Economic Growth

Dr. Jessica Fanzo

Who Will Feed the World’s Cities? The Rural-Urban Convergence

Panel Discussion

The panel discussion included Dr. David Tschirley, Dr. Christine Blake, Dr. Suneetha Kadiyala, Dr. Peter Richards and Dr. Jessica Fanzo.

Missed the session but want to watch all the recordings in order?



Dr. Christine Blake

Associate Professor, Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior,  Arnold School of Public Health
University of South Carolina


Dr. Adam Drewnowski

Professor, Epidemiology, Director, Center for Public Health Nutrition, School of Public Health
University of Washington


Dr. Jessica Fanzo

Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor, Ethics and Global Food & Agriculture
Johns Hopkins University


Dr. Suneetha Kadiyala

Associate Professor in Nutrition-Sensitive Development, Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


Dr. Peter Richards

Economic Adviser, Global Engagement & Strategy Team, Bureau for Food Security
U.S. Agency for International Development 


Dr. David L. Tschirley

Professor, International Development, Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
Michigan State University