New report shows 10 ways food systems create better health for people and planet

Northampton, MA – News Direct – Global Alliance for the Future of Food

  • The launch coincides with the new state of food security and nutrition in the world 2022

  • Promote healthy, sustainable diets for healthy people and the planet, say 84% of healthcare professionals

  • Ultra-processed foods and environmental pollution are at the top of the health care professionals’ list of concerns

  • Case studies from Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, and the United States show how the food and health sector can take collaborative action together.

July 6, 2022 / 3BL Media / – Today the Global Alliance for the Future of Food released a new report showing how ten food-focused initiatives have taken action to advance human, environmental and animal health. The launch coincides with the publication The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022 which starkly exposes the vulnerability of global food systems to climate extremes, the ongoing pandemic and the worsening food and energy crisis as a result of the war in Ukraine. All were exacerbated by high rates of food inflation and the underlying causes of inequality.

New data from a survey of global health professionals conducted prior to the report’s launch confirms that the interconnectedness between the drivers behind the world’s food crisis and the need to work outside silos resonate with medical and other health professionals. For example, when participants were asked about how diets affect health, respondents rated: 1) by the availability and marketing of ultra-processed foods; 2) through environmental pollution, pollution and deterioration; and 3) by contributing to climate change. 72% also agreed that joint initiatives and collaboration across sectors are essential to broadening the horizons of what constitutes good health.

Other key findings:

  • 64% said policies such as subsidies and marketing restrictions are an essential way to build healthy diets; 53% educate the public and 39% support financing more innovative approaches to food production

  • 84% said promoting/consuming a healthy and sustainable diet is an important way to improve health and reduce the environmental impacts of diets

  • 80% strongly agreed that climate change, health and food systems are interconnected

  • 39% say they are more concerned about how diets have affected health since the COVID-19 outbreak.

said Patti Fong, Program Director – Climate, Health & Welfare, Global Alliance for the Future of Food. “What the case studies tell us, in turn, is that there is an abundance of opportunities for meaningful collaboration between the health sector and food system actors. It is time for action.”

Case studies of initiatives in Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Nigeria, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, United States Providing healthcare and public health professionals with evidence and ideas on how to take nutritional health action at the local, regional, national and international levels – including:

  1. Collaboration of public health, food, animal health, and planetary health professionals is essential to promoting positive nutritional health outcomes.

  2. Appreciation of lived experiences and original knowledge is key to achieving better nutritional health outcomes

  3. Medical institutions, including hospitals, have a role to play in supporting better availability of healthy foods

  4. Health care professionals can influence government policy in a way that improves the health and well-being of the communities they serve.

  5. Culturally appropriate nutrition education, food literacy, and skills training should be advocated through schools, health and social services, and community settings.

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For additional comment, contact:Kasia Murphy, Director of Communications, Email: Phone: +34676607605

Notes to editors:

The survey was conducted by the Global Alliance to better understand the health sector’s knowledge and perceptions on food systems issues, with a focus on raising trends, to help identify areas of common interest for future collaboration across sectors. It was presented in collaboration with the European Union for Public Health, the Global Alliance for Health and Climate, the International Federation of Medical Student Associations, the Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance, and the WONCA Task Force on the Environment.

It was built using a Google Forms survey template and reached 300 respondents in 50 countries. The questionnaire was translated into French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. Collaborating organizations reviewed survey content and methodology, and were able to distribute materials to their respective networks.

About the Global Alliance for the Future of FoodThe Global Alliance for the Future of Food is a strategic alliance of philanthropic foundations working together and with others to transform global food systems now and for generations to come. We believe in the urgent need to transform global food systems, and in the power of working together and with others to create positive change. Food systems reform requires new and better solutions at all levels through a systems-level approach and deep collaboration between philanthropy, researchers, grassroots movements, the private sector, farmers and food system workers, indigenous peoples, government and policy makers.

citation paper“It is very promising to see such high levels of awareness and acceptance among health professionals about the critical need to switch to sustainable healthy diets. There is also a fairly strong consensus on policy measures, such as marketing restrictions and subsidies for healthy foods. Now, these must be directed Convention toward policy and change directed toward policy.”

Dr. Jenny Miller, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Climate and Health: “Sustainable diets and healthy diets go hand in hand, and are essential to people’s health and well-being. Our current agricultural practices contribute to, and are severely affected by, climate change. We must shift to food systems that are better adapted to climate change, and which do not exacerbate climate change. The climate crisis, but instead helps mitigate it. Food security, including tackling malnutrition in all its forms, and sustainable diets produced by food systems that support a healthy planet and people’s well-being, must be a priority in international policymaking.”

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