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.

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.

Photo: Devika, Chane ki daal, Flickr, creative commons licence, 2.0
16 August 2016

This study, which analyses data from two long-term epidemiologic research studies in the US, found that specific food sources of protein in the diet affected health outcomes in differing ways. Taking into account a number of other dietary and lifestyle factors, the authors showed that animal protein intake was weakly associated with a higher risk for mortality.

28 June 2016

A new report by McKinsey & Company argues that China seems to be abandoning Western fast food for healthier options. Only 51% of consumers in China said they ate Western fast food in 2015, signalling a drop from the 67% who said they consumed fast food in 2012.

28 June 2016

Globally, the food system and the relationship of the individual to that system, continues to change and grow in complexity. Eating is an everyday event that is part of everyone’s lives. There are many commentaries on the nature of these changes to what, where and how we eat and their socio-cultural, environmental, educational, economic and health consequences.

9 June 2016

The iPES food panel (International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems), has published a report reviewing the latest evidence on benefits and challenges with different production models, specifically looking at the industrial agriculture and agroecological farming systems. It argues that there are eight key reasons why industrial agriculture is locked in place despite its negative impacts; and it maps out a series of steps to break these cycles and shift towards expanding agroecological farming.

Photo credit: (Flickr: crustmania, creative commons 2.0)
9 June 2016

Taking as their starting point a hypothetical zero-deforestation for agricultural production, where people would refrain from clearing any further forests for agricultural purposes, the researchers behind this study look at both supply side and demand side measures to assess how changes in production and diet can assist in halting deforestation

20 April 2016

Researchers at the Swedish Environmental Research Institute have investigated how different food choices and changing eating habits affect the environment.

20 April 2016

The Health Council of the Netherlands (the Dutch Dietary Guidelines Committee 2015) has published an updated set of Dutch dietary guidelines.

20 April 2016

This study evaluates the links between diets and health in relation to greenhouse gas emissions by reviewing 16 studies, comparing a total of 100 dietary patterns.  The researchers examine how diets with reduced greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) affected the subjects in the studies in terms of nutrient intake and health outcomes.

20 April 2016

This study, which quantifies at the global and regional level the health and environmental consequences of dietary change,  argues that there are substantial health and environmental gains to be made from switching to more plant based diets.  According to the research, food-related emissions could be cut by 29% if global dietary guidelines were adopted. 

16 February 2016

This blog post by Public Health England highlights the the UK food and agriculture industry’s contribution to global climate change and environmental degradation, and the steps the Government is taking or has taken in light of this.

16 February 2016

This paper by researchers from the University of Oxford, British Heart Foundation and the University of Reading investigates the impact on both health and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGEs) in the UK of introducing taxes on foods and drinks with high GHGEs, and/or on drinks with added sugar (sugar-sweetened beverages; SSBs).

3 February 2016

This BBC News – Health article describes the new smartphone app that has been released by Public Health England (PHE) as part of its Change4Life advertising campaign. The app allows the user to scan the bar-codes of over 75,000 food and drink items and be told how much sugar the item contains, either as sugar cubes or grams.

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