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.

15 October 2014

Novel use of UK national data finds a growing gap between the prices of more and less healthy foods between 2002 and 2012. Healthy foods in 2012 were three times more expensive per calorie than less healthy foods.

Food prices in the UK have risen faster than the price of other goods in recent years, and this new study, which tracked the price of 94 key food and beverage items from 2002 to 2012, shows that the increase has been greater for more healthy foods, making them progressively more expensive over time.

2 October 2014

This blog discusses the June Business Forum meeting organised by the Food Ethics Council which saw businesses and NGOs coming together to consider how industry and government discusses issues of food consumption and choice now, and how this might need to change.

2 October 2014

This set of papers reports on findings from the most recent undertaking of the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS). The CHNS is a long-term ongoing longitudinal cohort with in-depth community data and household socio-demographic data and very detailed diet, activity, body composition and cardiometabolic measures representative of large populations in China, the largest and one of the most rapidly changing countries in the world.

25 September 2014

The annual report 2013 from Bioversity international contains a special discussion on “Improved nutrition through sustainable food choices”.

The sustainable diets research by Bioversity focuses on food and food systems, taking into account food diversity and how it can be produced and acquired across all seasons and under different economic circumstances.

25 September 2014

This paper provides a schema for categorizing all diets as either: low carbohydrate; fat, low glycemic; Mediterranean; mixed, balanced; Paleolithic; or vegan.  The researchers emphasize that the aim of the research is not to recommend one particular diet over another, but rather to highlight how disease prevention and increased public health is best realised.

5 September 2014

The FoodSwitch app, developed by the George Institute for Global Health to help you make healthier food choices is one of three winners of the Public Health England Award. The app was designed to help the consumer make better food choices and works by displaying nutritional information and offering the user healthier alternatives to the items in their shopping basket.

22 July 2014

Square Meal: why we need a new recipe for farming, wildlife, food and public health’ is a new report published by The Food Research Collaboration, the RSPB, Friends of the Earth, the National Trust, the Food Ethics Council, Sustain, the Wildlife Trusts, the Soil Association, Eating Better and Compassion in World Farming.

23 June 2014

This study from Monash University looks at the effects of introducing a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages across different income groups, comparing impacts on consumption, bodyweight and tax burden.  They compare between introducing a flat rate 20% valoric tax and a 20 c/L volumetric tax and find that for low-income households the volumetric tax leads both to greater per capita weight loss and lower tax burden.

13 June 2014

The report investigates consumers’ meat eating patterns, the relationship with BMI, and their willingness to eat less meat or to eat meat that they may perceive to be ‘better’ in some way – eg. organic or free range.

4 June 2014

The past 33 years have seen a great increase in obesity and overweight rates among adults but also, and especially, children. There has been a 28 % increase in the rate of obesity among adults but in children a startling 47% increase.

25 April 2014

In this interview journalist Tom Levitt discusses with Barry Popkin, coordinator of the China Health and Nutrition Survey, how Chinese diets have shifted in recent years and what this means in terms of public health and environmental impacts.

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