The Action for Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems for All (HDSFS) coalition brings together governments, United Nations agencies, civil society organizations, academic institutions and social movements.
It is one of the outcomes of the United Nations Food Systems Summit held in September 2021, as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The summit called for progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by examining how food systems relate to global challenges such as malnutrition, climate change and poverty.
disease and inequality
HDSFS comes at a critical time, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), one of its members, because ‘Our diets make us sick’.
every year, Unhealthy diets cause 11 million deathswhile another 420,000 people die from eating unsafe foods.
Unhealthy diets are also associated with six of the top 10 risk factors for the global burden of disease, but about three billion people worldwide cannot afford healthy food.
“The Burden of malnutrition prepresents a violation of the human right to food and Continue to drive health and social inequalitiesThe World Health Organization said.
The picture is getting worse, the UN agency said unsustainable practices that define today’s diets also lead to deforestation, biodiversity loss, ocean depletion, antimicrobial resistance, and the emergence of zoonoses.
©FAO / Viktor Sokolovic
more than food
For the World Health Organization, “Healthy Diets from Sustainable Diets” goes beyond simple access to affordable foods that promote health and prevent disease.
It also means having food that is produced and distributed in ways that ensure decent work and help sustain the planet, soil, water and biodiversity.
The World Health Organization noted the broader implications that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals may have, such as eliminating hunger and malnutrition, promoting healthy lives and well-being, improving maternal and child health, encouraging responsible consumption and production, and driving urgent action to combat climate change.
HDSFS will serve as an ‘alliance of the willing’, serving as a platform for coordinated action on healthy diets from sustainable food systems through which countries can share experiences, advocate for policy actions, and gain support, information and inspiration.
As urgent action is needed in policies, practices, data availability and resource allocation, the Alliance’s work will focus on three main areas: mobilizing stakeholders to align action across food systems; Facilitating peer-to-peer learning between countries, managing special projects on integrating nutrition, health and sustainability through food.
So far, 16 countries and the European Commission are the “top countries” in HDSFS.
The “core group members” of the coalition include the World Health Organization and four other UN agencies: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the World Food Programme.
Other members of civil society and academia include the World Wildlife Fund, the humanitarian organization CARE, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, and the Center for Food Policy at City, University of London.