Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Health issues

Food provides the nutrients we need for effective metabolic functioning. Malnutrition in all its forms is common across the globe and causes many serious health issues from conception and throughout the life course. Some 800 million people still go to bed hungry today, while around 2 billion people are now overweight or obese  these include poor people and increasingly citizens of low and middle income countries – and their numbers are growing. Overlapping with these numbers around 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, which cause physical and cognitive problems. Poor diets rich in processed foods and animal products and low in fruit and vegetables are now the main cause of premature deaths worldwide, implicated in diseases such as obesity, strokes, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. In addition, our nutrition and broader health status also influence our susceptibility to infectious diseases. Diet-related health outcomes are shaped by multiple social, economic, cultural and political factors and these influences on food consumption interact with other factors (from environmental through to genetic) to influence health.

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.

7 March 2017

The World Cancer Research Fund International has created the NOURISHING policy database which has now been updated and holds 390 policy actions from 125 countries, and 70 evaluations.

29 November 2016

This newly released free eBook aims to provide the latest perspectives on the nutrition challenges that are now common to all societies worldwide. It argues that the case for good nutrition for all people, in all parts of the globe and throughout the entire life-cycle, is growing stronger and includes contributions from some of the world’s most influential and respected experts in the field.

Photo credit: Martin Delisle, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
22 November 2016

This systematic review confirms earlier findings that a number of well-categorised sustainable dietary patterns are also good for health outcomes. There was consistent evidence to suggest that diets higher in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains and lower in animal-based foods (especially red meat), are both healthier and associated with a lower impact on the environment.

18 October 2016

In a new report, entitled ‘Fiscal policies for diet and the prevention of noncommunicable diseases’, the World Health Organisation (WHO) advocates subsidies and taxes on healthy and unhealthy foods respectively. One of the report’s major conclusions was

28 September 2016

Between 2013 and 2015, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) undertook a survey of innovative approaches that enable markets to act as incentives in the transition towards sustainable agriculture in developing countries.

28 September 2016

This foresight report by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (Glopan) outlines a vision for a food system that reduces malnutrition and promotes health. It is designed to help policy-makers make their food systems more supportive of high quality diets.

16 September 2016

In this Perspective article in the journal Science, the FCRN’s Tara Garnett articulates the need for a strong policy focus on sustainable healthy diets, and assesses the current state of research and understanding on the relationship between health and sustainability. 

Photo: Steve Baker, Obesity, Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0
31 August 2016

The Global BMI Mortality Collaboration presents results in the Lancet from the largest pooled dataset on the relationship between weight and mortality rates. The analysis shows that both overweight and obesity in otherwise healthy participants were associated with increased mortality from all causes.

Photo: Sam Sherratt, Meat, Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0
23 August 2016

In their latest dietary guidelines, the Chinese government recommends a slightly lower meat intake than it did in its previous 2007 guidance.

Photo: Jim Pennuci, Flickr, Creative commons licence 2.0
23 August 2016

This report, produced by the Behavioural Insights Team, seeks to resolve an important area of uncertainty for obesity policy, asking, are official UK statistics on calorie consumption plausible?

Photo: USDA, Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0
23 August 2016

A new strategy has been launched by the UK government to tackle overweight and obesity among children. The strategy highlights a reaffirmed commitment to the sugary drinks tax (the only measure in the strategy which is not based on voluntary action) and it emphasises the importance of sports and school breakfast clubs.

16 August 2016

On June 12th, prior to the annual EAT Forum in Stockholm, the establishment of the new EAT-Lancet Commission was announced jointly by the Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre Johan Rockström, Chair of the EAT Foundation Gunhild Stordalen, and editor of The Lancet Richard Horton.

Photo: Livingasart, Buying Meat Two, Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0
16 August 2016

Energy intake has long been recognised as a factor in obesity, but more recently, interest has increased in whether some dietary patterns containing differing amounts of macronutrients and food groups, contribute more to body weight gain than do others.

Photo: USDA, People eating out at a fast food restaurant, Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0
16 August 2016

This paper provides a detailed case study of the history and controversy surrounding the proposed inclusion of sustainability information in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) – a body composed of nutritionists, physicians, and public health experts, tasked with reviewing the evidence base for the guidelines every 5 years.

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