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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


SUAREZ-HERRERA, José Carlos; O´SHANAHAN JUAN, José Joaquín  and  SERRA-MAJEM, Lluis. Social Participation as a Central Strategy of Community Nutrition to Face the Challenges Associated with the Nutritional Transition. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.83, n.6, pp.791-803. ISSN 2173-9110.

In last decades modern societies are undergoing a rapid nutrition transition process that reinforces, at international level, the emergence of nutritional problems of contradictory nature, such as malnutrition and obesity. This represents a considerable challenge for contemporary Public Health leaders, who have been gradually developing a set of strategies which overwhelmingly adopt a population perspective. Nevertheless, the collective nature of these strategies could neglect the particular individual and family needs. We consider social participation as an approach to simultaneously reinforce both individual and population perspectives during the divers phases of development of Community Nutrition programs which tackle the paradoxical nature of this problematic. However in relation to some contextual factors, we find a growing trend to develop a more technocratic dimension of participatory practices, which distorts the emancipator and transformative potential of social participation. In order to avoid this tendency, we propose the use of the five intervention axes of the Ottawa Chart for Health Promotion as a guide for a systemic integration of social participation in planning, implementation and evaluation processes of Community Nutrition programs. We therefore take into account the integration of social participation in the efforts made in developing individual capacity-building, reinforcing collective action, creating enabling environments, health care reorganization, and finally, implementing nutritional and public health policies.

Keywords : Social Participation; Nutritional Transition; Primary Health Care; Health Promotion; Public Health.

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