Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Consumption and diets

The type, quantity and formats of foods we eat vary considerably over time and space. A person’s consumption of food is rarely a matter solely (or even largely) of personal conscious choice. Instead, it is affected by such wide-ranging factors as cultural identity and taboos, food availability and price, genetics, legislation, technological innovation and marketing campaigns. Governments and civil society organisations have long been promoting healthy diets to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases both at a global and national scale and the concept of ‘sustainable healthy diets’ – diets that have lower environmental impacts but fulfil nutritional requirements –  is very slowly gaining ground.

16 May 2017

The World Obesity Federation has published its position statement recognising obesity as a disease in the journal Obesity reviews. The World Obesity Federation is an organization representing professional societies from many countries that focus on research, education and health care for people with obesity. The Federation has commissioned this statement to argue for the position that ‘Obesity is a chronic relapsing disease process’ and to serve as the basis for their position on this issue.

16 May 2017

This website published by The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), presents interactive visual information and statistics on how food supplies around the world have changed in the past 50 years. 

Photo: Lablascovegmenu, vegan fried rice, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
25 April 2017

BBC’s Claudia Hammond and Tim Cockerill hosted an event at the Wellcome Collection that can now be listened to online.

Photo: Maria Eklind, Crepes at Patisserie David Malmö Sweden, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
25 April 2017

This research links the self-reported Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) data of Swedish participants, to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) data of carbon footprint for food products. The results of this study indicate that a self-selected diet low in diet related greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) provides comparable intake of nutrients as a diet high in GHGE, and adheres to dietary guidelines for most nutrients.

19 April 2017

Based on a case study from Oakland California, a new report by Friends of the Earth US finds that schools can make lunches healthier and more climate-friendly while also saving money— by reformulating menus so that they are more plant centred, and contain less (and better) meat and fewer dairy products.

19 April 2017

This report, by the US based NRDC (The Natural Resources Defense Council) finds that the per capita diet related carbon footprint of the average US citizen decreased by 10% between 2005 and 2014, driven by a 19% decrease in beef consumption. 

Photo: Camy West, food, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
19 April 2017

In this letter to the editor in Nature, the authors challenge simplified dietary strategies used in lifecycle assessment (LCA) based studies. Citing a paper that presents the LCA of three dietary scenarios for a basket of food products (representative of EU consumption) they argue that “it is irresponsible to present environmentally motivated dietary strategies... that conflict with longstanding public health nutrition objectives.”. 

12 April 2017

This book, by Pamela Mason and Tim Lang, explores what is meant by sustainable diets and why and how this can be made the goal for policymakers as we enter the Anthropocene. We do recommend that you take a look at Tim Lang’s blog-post for the FCRN where he discusses the book’s findings and insights.

4 April 2017

This report authored by By Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at University of London was commissioned for Friends of the Earth. It outlines the current state of policy thinking on sustainable diets and reviews some national, international and local attempts to chart new policy directions to tackle growing evidence that food consumption has immense impact on environment, health, society and economy.

24 March 2017

In this policy briefing “A Healthy and Sustainable Food Future Policy recommendations to embed sustainability in the Eatwell Guide and wider UK food policy” the Eating Better Alliance and Medact call on Public Health England (PHE), government more broadly and health professionals to do more to promote healthy and sustainable diets and to ensure that dietary recommendations underpin food and farming policy.

Brian, Food choices, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0.
15 March 2017

In a blog-piece for The Conversation, Duane Mellor (Associate Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Canberra) and Cathy Knight-Agarwal (Clinical Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Canberra) argue that it is time to rethink the purpose of dietary guidelines both in terms of content and how people adopt (or ignore) their messages.

15 March 2017

This report from the UK free market think tank Institute of Economic Affairs claims that healthy food is actually cheaper than ‘junk food’. In drawing this conclusion the IEA also states that taxes on unhealthy foods (consumed as they say disproportionately by people with low incomes) is unlikely to be enough to change consumer behaviour and will be regressive - it will hit poorer people the hardest. 

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