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European Public Health Association report: Healthy and Sustainable Diets for European Countries

This report by the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) presents both evidence and recommendations for European policy development on sustainable healthy diets. Starting with an overview of the health and environmental consequences of dietary habits this report moves on to present an analysis of individual and societal costs and benefits of implementing sustainable healthy diets, and a list of the European actors and institutions working on this issue. It also looks at evidence of progress from different European countries (FBDG Food Based Dietary Guidelines, Labeling, fiscal policy, procurement and other EU regional level initiatives).

The proposals focus on how to:

1. Promote a sustainable healthy diet at individual level.

2. Create a Policy Action Plan for Europe.

3. Other policy recommendations for EU actors (CAP, EU commission, WHO Europe).

4. Create a research Agenda for Europe for Healthy Sustainable Food Systems.

5. Create actions for EUPHA to address.

Figure 7. Domains and challenges to be considered (circles) and actions to be taken for sustainable diets (balloons)

One of its recommendations calls for the European Commission and governments of member states of the EU to establish a statutory Sustainable Nutrition Task Force. The responsibilities of this Task Force would be, in each jurisdiction:

  • to identify essential key features of a healthy and sustainable food system;
  • to formulate and to recommend a strategic plan for moving from current food systems towards healthy and sustainable alternatives, as identified, by adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to food and nutrition;
  • to plan and recommend a programme for implementation of the strategy for sustainable and healthy food systems;
  • to monitor progress towards implementation of such policies;
  • to supervise the evaluation of outcomes in relation to both healthy nutrition and sustainability.

You may be interested in a report by the FCRN and FAO looking at global developments in national dietary guidelines and to what extent they include sustainability considerations. See Plates, pyramids and planet – Developments in national healthy and sustainable dietary guidelines: a state of play assessment.

Read the full report here.


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