As SEAMEO RECFON entering its 3rd Five Year Development Plan, it is thought that the existing 5 Research Lines need a refocusing to be more responsive to current issues and challenges facing by the Southeast Asian Region as well as to be more align to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Since the end of 2020, several meetings have been conducted by the Research Committee of SEAMEO RECFON to discuss the new Research Area.  The process in formulating the new Research Area is as follow:

  1. Collecting the profile of each research line (major purpose, target beneficiaries, expected output, scope of topics)
  2. Mapping of publications by research line (2015-2019)
  3. Mapping of research line based on approach and theme
  4. Mapping of keywords of the publications (2015-2020)
  5. Population, nutrition components, nutrients/foods components, outcomes
  6. Themes identification
  7. Mapping of current research lines to the new research area
  8. Aligning the new research area to RECFON’s vision and mission and SDGs
  9. Define details and scope of each research theme

Finally, on the 27 September 2021, the Research Committee agreed on this three research area:

  1. Food safety, security and environment
  2. Optimal nutrition throughout the life course
  3. Nutrition, health, and productivity nexus

Research Area 1. Food safety, food security, and environment

This research area covers exploring new and improving the current knowledge and practices in food safety, food security and food environments as well as their interrelatedness with each other at the community, school and household levels to fulfil the nutritional well-being across age groups.

To generate knowledge, best practices, and policy recommendations that balance and ensure the requirements for food safety and security within the context of a given food environment towards achieving quality human well-being and environmental sustainability.

Research Area 2. Optimal nutrition throughout the life course

This research area covers methods, tools/approaches and interventions to ensure optimal nutritional status over the life course, including the interaction of nutrient, gene, gut health, other environmental contaminants and diseases. Life course refers to pregnancy, lactating period, infancy, under-five children, school-age children, adolescent, adult, elderly

  1. To generate evidence, best/promising/potential practices and policy recommendations on
    • nutritional assessment
    • diet modelling
    • nutrigenomics/ nutrigenetics
    • gut health
    • disease prevention
  2. To design food and nutrient intervention through behavioural dynamics and developmental outcomes towards achieving community optimal nutrition and health status over the life course

Research Area 3. Nutrition, health, and productivity nexus

Research focusing on nutrition as determinant of health and productivity, including work and academic performance

To understand the role of nutrition as determinant of health and productivity through decreasing the risk factors of non-communicable diseases

  1. Social Determinant of nutrition and health, including identification of gap and the relationship among determinants
  2. Development of Intervention strategy to improve health and productivity, focusing on Food Based Recommendation and Behaviour Change Communication involving school and work-place setting
  3. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the interventional strategy to strengthen policy