Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Socio-economic determinants of health

6 October 2020

This report from the UK charity the Food Foundation sets out ten metrics which could be used to gauge the health of the UK’s food system. Compared to 2019, the report finds improvement in the following metrics: wages in the food industry, products with too much sugar, and products with not enough vegetables. Deterioration has been seen in food prices (note that figures are only available until the first quarter of 2020 and thus do not capture the full impacts of COVID-19) and in places to buy healthy food.

27 August 2020

Professor Corinna Hawkes, Director of the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London, has launched a new blog called The Better Food Journey. In this blog post, Hawkes discusses the complexities of regulating the marketing of unhealthy food, noting that without advertising, food companies may instead try to compete by cutting prices or adding sugar. The blog post is topical since in July 2020 the UK government announced new restrictions on the advertising of foods high in fat, sugar and salt.

27 August 2020

This book uses case studies from across the world to examine the history of food insecurity and the role that food sovereignty could play in mitigating hunger.

21 July 2020

This book offers an accessible introduction to the field of environmental justice, including chapters on food, agriculture and environmental justice, biodiversity, water, decolonisation, racism and gender.

23 June 2020

This report from the Food System Impact Valuation Initiative (FoodSIVI) at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute examines how the social impacts of food systems can be reported in monetary terms. It suggests that calculating the costs and benefits of food system interventions could help direct spending towards the most effective measures.

19 May 2020

This book looks at how gentrification affects the urban food landscape in several American cities, and what activists are doing to resist it.

19 May 2020

The 2020 edition of the Global Nutrition Report uses the concept of nutrition equity to examine multiple forms of malnutrition, including undernutrition and obesity. The report stresses that poor diets and malnutrition are not simply the result of personal choices - rather, the problem is systemic, with the vast majority of people being unable to access or afford a healthy diet. It calls for coordinated action between stakeholders to build equitable, resilient and sustainable food and health systems.

10 March 2020

This book examines the role of school gardens in addressing malnutrition among students and promoting healthy eating. It includes case studies in Nepal and the Philippines.

28 January 2020

This report from the UK Soil Association’s Food for Life initiative explores the state of children’s food in England. It finds that 4 in 10 children leaving primary school will be overweight or obese by 2024, nine out of ten preschool children eat too much sugar and UK families eat the most ultra-processed diet in Europe.

25 November 2019

This paper reviews current dietary patterns and trends, examines their links with health, the environment and equity, and suggests how governments, industry and consumers can help to shift diets towards patterns that are beneficial to both people and the environment.

19 November 2019

This report from UK NGO Sustain is a guide for both local and national policymakers. It argues that controlling hot food takeaway outlets (e.g. fish and chip shops, kebab shops, burger bars) through planning laws, e.g. by limiting the number of outlets near schools, can help to promote public health. 

4 November 2019

Children in New York City who live less than 0.025 miles (about half a city block) from a fast-food outlet are more likely to be obese or overweight than children who live further away, according to this paper. The probability of a child being overweight was up to 4.4% lower and the probability of obesity was up to 2.9% lower for children who lived further away, relative to those who lived closest to fast-food outlets. The study used over 3.5 million data points (measurements of body mass index) from the New York City public school system between 2009 and 2013. 

22 October 2019

This book questions whether the rising demand for meat is indeed driven mainly by wealth and argues that the consumption of cheap meat is linked to economic insecurity. It also questions the view that the modern human brain evolved because of the consumption of meat.

22 October 2019

This report from the UK Food Ethics Council details the verdict reached by the “jury” in the event “Food Policy on Trial: In the dock – plain packaging on junk food & drink”. The jury (consisting of four volunteer members of the Food Ethics Council) concluded that much stronger regulation is required on food and drink packaging, for example banning the use of cartoon figures to market unhealthy foods to children, but also thought that introducing plain packaging on certain foods and drinks should be kept as a potential future intervention rather than introduced immediately.

2 October 2019

This book by Julian Cribb examines the links between food, conflict, hunger and ecological collapse, and develops recommendations for how to build a sustainable global food system that defuses tensions and avoids the mass displacement of people.

2 October 2019

FCRN member Anna Birgitte Milford of the NIBIO (Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research) has co-authored this paper, which studies the impact of various variables on meat total meat and ruminant meat consumption levels (both total and ruminant) in 137 countries. The paper assesses factors which had previously not been used together in similar analyses, including economic, cultural and natural factors (e.g. land availability and climate).

22 July 2019

The FAO’s 2019 edition of its “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” report finds that the number of hungry people is increasing, with around 820 million people worldwide experiencing undernourishment. This year’s report also finds that around 2 billion people experience either severe or moderate food insecurity, with the phenomenon found in low, middle and high income countries.

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