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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Researchers at the Swedish Environmental Research Institute have investigated how different food choices and changing eating habits affect the environment.
The Health Council of the Netherlands (the Dutch Dietary Guidelines Committee 2015) has published an updated set of Dutch dietary guidelines.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
This article by the Sustainable Food Trust summarises and reviews the latest report by The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. The author highlights the calls by the Review’s chair, Jim O’Neill, for a decreased use of antibiotics - especially those of most use in human medicine - worldwide, and presents the evidence laid out in the report and elsewhere for the link between veterinary use of antibiotics in livestock and increased antimicrobial resistance in human pathogens.
This report by The Food Foundation describes typical British family diets, their healthiness and environmental footprint, and in particular the social and economic drivers that influence typical food choices.
The director of nutrition at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Anna Lartey warns that while addressing problems with undernutrition has long been the main focus of African countries and aid organisations, the increasing challenges related to overweight and obesity are not being given sufficient attention.