Creating Better Health for People, Animals, & the Planet: Food Systems Insights for Health Professionals.  (2022 Jun)

Insights from health sector professionals, coupled with a deeper analysis of the Case Studies, make it clear that joint initiatives and cross-sector collaboration will expand perspectives of what constitutes good health and do much to advance the case for food systems transformation.

Global Alliance for the Future of Food. Creating Better Health for People, Animals, & the Planet: Food Systems Insights for Health Professionals. n.p.: Global Alliance for the Future of Food, 2022.

Excerpts from the forward & website:

For more than a decade, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food has advocated for a truly healthy food system built on an integrated approach that includes nutrition, health, happiness, as well as social and cultural factors. The Global Alliance has been dedicated to deepening our understanding of the positive co-benefits and negative health externalities of food systems since the onset of the pandemic.

The Global Alliance in partnership with European Public Health Alliance, Global Climate and Health Alliance, International Federation of Medical Students Associations, NCD Alliance, and the World Organization of Family Doctor to survey health sector workers (doctors, nurses, medical students, dietitians and nutritionists, healthcare assistants, and policymakers, to name a few) on how food systems impact health.

More than 300 experts from over 50 countries responded saying that since the outbreak of the pandemic they:

  • have an increased understanding of the connection between food systems and health and are more concerned about these issues;
  • very strongly agreed that climate change, health, and food systems are interconnected (80% of respondents)
  • ranked the availability and marketing of ultra-processed foods the highest impact of food systems on global health;
    • followed by environmental contamination, pollution, and degradation; and
    • then the food systems’ contribution to climate change.
  • stated that it is very important to consume and/or promote healthy and sustainable diets as a way to both improve health and reduce environmental impacts of food systems (stated by 84% of respondents)

This report is about mobilizing action to transform food systems. For inspiration, they look to those who are getting it right. The 10 Case Studies feature food-focused initiatives that have taken action to promote human, ecological, and animal health and well-being. From ​Brazil, ​Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, and the United States, the case studies in this report demonstrate how the health sector can play a critical role in food systems transformation.

The initiatives profiled provide healthcare and public health professionals with evidence and ideas for how food–health action can be taken at local, regional, national, and international levels – including:

  • Public health, food, animal health, and planetary health workers’ collaboration is necessary to advance positive food–health outcomes
  • Appreciation of lived experiences and Indigenous knowledge is key to better food-health outcomes
  • Medical institutions, including hospitals, have a role to play support better availability of healthy foods
  • Healthcare professionals can influence government policy in a way that improves the health and well-being of the communities they serve.
  • Culturally appropriate nutrition education, food literacy, and skills training should be advocated for through schools, health and social services, and community settings.

Download the full report here: Creating Better Health for People, Animals, and the Planet: Food Systems Insights for Health Professionals 

View/download the resource

Transparency | Diversity | Dynamism | Evidence-based |

AdministrationAgricultureCommunityDietetic EducatorHealthcarePublic HealthResearch
Competency DevelopmentPersonal Knowledge DevelopmentPolicy ChangeProgrammingResearch