Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Health concerns

26 February 2015

This new series of papers from the Lancet summarises the latest available knowledge on obesity and what can be done to address the problem. The series introduction describes how today’s food environments exploits people’s biological, psychological, social, and economic vulnerabilities, making it easier for them to eat unhealthy foods. This in turn reinforces preferences and demands for foods of poor nutritional quality, furthering the unhealthy food environments. The authors call for regulatory actions from governments and increased efforts from industry and civil society to break these vicious cycles.

18 February 2015

This paper presented in EHP (Environmental Health Perspectives) claims to be the largest study to look at organophosphate exposure in humans.  It specifically compares pesticide exposure from eating organic food as compared with conventionally farmed food. The question of whether organic foods are better relate both to a food’s nutrient values and to its pesticide exposure; this paper examines whether the belief that organic produce contains less pesticide holds true.

12 February 2015

This major study compiles and analyses global-level data to assess relationships among diet, environmental sustainability and human health.  It evaluates the potential future environmental impacts of the global dietary transition before exploring some possible solutions to the diet–environment–health trilemma. 

30 January 2015

Two new papers from researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University have analysed the portion sizes and nutritional contents (including calories, sodium, saturated fats and trans fats) of popular menu items served at three national fast-food chains between 1996 and 2013. The researchers found that average calories, sodium, and saturated fat stayed relatively constant, at high levels and the only decline seen was of trans fat of fries that took place between 2000-2009. The products analysed were: French fries, cheeseburgers, grilled chicken sandwich, and regular cola.

29 January 2015

This paper explores links between lifestyles, diet and health in Italian generations X (born: 1966-1976) and Y (born 1980-2000), and compares their dietary preferences, using the years 2001 and 2011 as reference points. The researchers argue that policy needs to address specific segments of these generations more likely to eat an unhealthy diet and to focus on behaviour change through communication campaigns.

29 January 2015

This study surveys Italian consumers to explore whether there is a relationship between health and environmental sustainability concerns in their food choices.

Abstract

The objective of the study is to analyze if there is a relationship between health and environmental sustainability concerns in food choices. We used data of 300 Italian consumers collected through a vis-à-vis survey. We performed cross-tabulations and chi-square tests for a selected set of variables measuring both types of concerns, segmenting the sample by age, gender and education.

26 November 2014

Animal products are vital components of the diets and livelihoods of people across sub-Saharan Africa. They are frequently traded in local, unregulated markets and this can pose significant health risks.

26 November 2014

This study reveals that consumers tend to underestimate calorie counts for companies with positive corporate responsibility programs, and then consume more of the foods produced by them. The study suggests that consumers may infer (often incorrectly), that if the company is engaged in doing ‘good deeds’, their products are healthy. For the research, they split participant groups between two fictional product launches, one company with a positive CSR profile, and the other with neutral CSR, and determined that participants consuming products from the positive CSR profile, ate more. Furthermore, these participants also underestimated the consumed calories for the company with the positive CSR.

23 October 2014

The latest survey by the Food Standards Agency presents results on reported behaviours, attitudes and knowledge relating to food safety issues. It provides data on people’s reports of their food purchasing, storage, preparation, consumption and factors that may affect these, such as eating habits, influences on where people choose to eat out and experiences of food poisoning.

15 October 2014

According to the latest Greendex survey by the National Geographic Society, more people are eating local and organic foods and plan to consume less meat and bottled water. However, most also believe they lack enough information and influence to become more environmentally sustainable consumers. The survey, undertaken in collaboration with research consulting firm GlobeScan, measured consumption habits and attitudes in 18 countries. Each was scored on the relative size of its environmental footprint.

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