A pathway to personal, population and planetary health for dietitians and nutrition professionals (2023 Nov)

MacKenzie-Shalders, K. L., Barbour, L., Charlton, K., Cox, G. R., Lawrence, M., Murray, S., Newberry, K., Senior, N. M., Stanton, R., & Tagtow, A. M. (2023). A pathway to personal, population and planetary health for dietitians and nutrition professionals. Public Health Nutrition, Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/puh2.137

Abstract

Background

Earth and all its inhabitants are threatened by a planetary crisis; including climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss and pollution. Dietitians and nutrition professionals have a responsibility to lead transformational change in contemporary food and health systems to help mitigate this crisis. The study aims to develop a conceptual framework to support dietitians towards personal, population and planetary health.

Methods

Non-empirical methods were used by the co-researchers to explore and explain the application of an international framework ‘Next-Generation Solutions to Address Adaptive Challenges in Dietetics Practice: The I + PSE Conceptual Framework for Action’. (I+PSE = Individual plus Policy, System, and Environmental)

Results

A non-sequential pathway guide to personal, population and planetary health for nutrition professionals was developed including several key guiding principles of Agency, Action, Ascension, Alignment, Alliance and Allyship, and Advocacy and Activism. Each guiding principle features descriptors and descriptions to enhance dietitian and nutrition professional

  • Agency (i.e. vision, self-belief, confidence, strength and responsibility),
  • Action (i.e. start, shift, translate, achieve and commit),
  • Ascension (i.e. build, overcome, manage, challenge and progress),
  • Alignment (i.e. leadership, transparency, diplomacy, values and systems),
  • Alliance and Allyship (i.e. support, collaborate, represent, community and citizenship) and
  • Advocacy and Activism (i.e. disrupt, co-design, transform, empower and urgency).

The framework and its descriptors support enhanced understanding and are modifiable and flexible in their application to guide the participation of dietitians and nutrition professionals in transformational change in personal, population and planetary health. This guide acknowledges that First Nations knowledge and customs are important to current and future work within this field.

Conclusions

Alongside the international body of work progressing in this field, this framework and visual guide will support dietitians and nutrition professionals to achieve urgent, transformational change in personal, population and planetary health.

Food environment framework in low- and middle-income countries – An integrative review (2023 Dec)

Neha Gupta, Vaishali Deshmukh, Sonika Verma, Seema Puri, Nikhil Tandon, Narendra K. Arora. Food environment framework in low- and middle-income countries – An integrative review. Global Food Security. Volume 39. 2023. 100716. ISSN 2211-9124. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gfs.2023.100716. (pay wall)

Relevant to: 

Researchers from multidisciplinary domains, policy makers, program managers

Question: 

The integrative review addressed the following objectives: (1) to develop a multi-level framework of Food Environments (FE) for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) based on McLeroy socio ecological theory and Penchansky and Thomas’s theory of access; (2) to identify the factors operating at different levels of the FE framework; and (3) to understand the relationship between factors operating at different levels of FE framework and dietary behaviors in LMICs.

Bottom line for nutrition practice: 

  • Food environment embedded in the food systems is a key consideration in sustainability. This study finds that the food environments in LMICs are in a dynamic state and have context specific mix of traditional systems and emerging modern supply chain-based markets.
  • The proposed socio-ecological model of the food environment in the context of LMICs should lay the foundation for an operational and analytical tool for surveillance, capturing dynamicity and its determinants.

Abstract: 

  • There are major gaps in our understanding of food environments (FE) in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) witnessing differential and complex social and economic transition. The present integrative review was conducted to develop a conceptual framework of FE for LMICs using socio-ecological and access theory. The FE framework has four layers: public policy, community/neighborhood (including organizational e.g., markets, schools), household, and individual. Availability, accessibility, and affordability with built-in socio-cultural and contextual factors were the major domains in every layer. The following additional domains emerged: global influences, marketing and regulation, nutrition programs, time-constrained family members, and food behavior. Wet and informal markets are important components of FE. The next step is determining the model’s resilience to accommodate and capture nuances across LMICs.

Details of results: 

  • The integrative review included evidence from 28 studies about food environment in low and middle-income countries in the last two decades.
  • The review used McLeroy’s socio-ecological model and Penchansky’s access theory as the basis for identifying the socio-economic and ecological factors operating at multiple levels in the LMIC food environment that influence dietary outcomes.
  • The factors were operating at (i) policy, (ii) community, (iii) household, and (iv) individual levels under the availability, affordability, and accessibility domains at each level are interwoven among themselves
  • The review identified that context and neighborhood characteristics characterise the food environment. In addition, the unorganized markets comprise of the major component of food environment
  • The evidence synthesis identified the following additional domains at multiple levels: Nutrition programs and global influences (Policy level); marketing and regulations (policy and neighborhood level); and time constraint and food behavior (household level).

Of additional interest: 

n/a

Conflict of interest/ Funding:  

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

External relevant links:  

n/a

Corresponding author: 

Seema Puri, Department of Food and Nutrition, Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India, dr.seemapuri@gmail.com

Sustainable Food Systems Network (EUFIC)

European Food Information Council (EUFIC)‘s Global Sustainable Food Systems Network facilitates communication and collaboration amongst stakeholders in sustainable food systems (SFS) across the globe. In this community, you will find policy makers, business professionals, civil society organizations, researchers, NGOs/non-profit organizations, funding agencies and interested citizens. The network allows members to:

  • Add to and use the resources section
  • Reach out to members through the chat in a field/topic you are interested in. Network, ask questions, build bridges. Chat conversations are private and confidential!
  • Publish about events you are organizing regarding SFS (on average, 30-120 members attend events shared in the feed!)
  • Peruse the calendar of events shared by other members.
  • Share calls, documents, reports, papers, etc. that you think are interesting for the whole community.
  • Ask the community for feedback and start a conversation, e.g. by creating a poll!
  • Share job openings as “opportunities”. The network currently spans 2000+ people, and their personal networks spread much further.

The SFSN Community leaders send a biweekly newsletter with featured shared events, opportunities, posts, and new members for further dissemination.

If you have any feedback, questions or would like to get more involved, email sfsn@eufic.org or contact us directly through the chat (search Community Managers).

JHND Special Issue: Sustainable Food Systems and Dietary Patterns in Nutrition and Dietetic Practice (2023 Dec)

The British Dietetic Association’s Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics (JHND) published a Special Issue on Sustainable Food Systems and Dietary Patterns in Nutrition and Dietetic Practice edited by: Liesel Carlsson, Angela Madden, and Kalliopi-Anna Poulia (Volume 36, Issue 6, Pages: 2121-2350, December 2023).

Twelve of the sixteen articles are open access and cover a wide range of practice settings.

  • Open Access – Conceptualising sustainability in Canadian dietetic practice: A scoping review – Dietitians are well-positioned to promote sustainable food systems and diets. This research identifies practice activities described in the Canadian published literature and compares these with dietetic competency standards. Increasing practitioners’ ability to analyse issues using systems thinking will help address complex challenges. Updates to competency standards and curricular supports are needed to support this area of practice.
  • Open Access – Local food procurement by hospitals: a scoping review – There is a paucity of peer-reviewed studies describing local food procurement by hospitals. Details of local food procurement models were generally lacking: categorisable as either purchases made ‘on-contract’ via conventional means or ‘off-contract’. If hospital foodservices are to increase their local food procurement, they require access to a suitable, reliable and traceable supply, that acknowledges their complexity and budgetary constraints.

How to Effectively Encourage Sustainable Food Choices: A Mini-Review of Available Evidence (2022 Nov)

This is open-access peer review mini-review from Frontiers (Psychology) by Wokje Abrahamse, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. He describes the review as the following:

“Food choices are difficult to change. People’s individual motivations (such as taste, cost, and food preferences) can be at odds with the negative environmental outcomes of their food choices (such as deforestation, water pollution, and climate change). How then can people be encouraged to adopt more sustainable food choices?

This rapid review uses a dual-processing framework of decision-making to structure an investigation of the effectiveness of interventions to encourage sustainable food choices (e.g., local and organic food consumption, reducing meat and dairy intake, reducing food waste) via voluntary behavior change. The review includes interventions that rely on fast, automatic decision-making processes (e.g., nudging) and interventions that rely on more deliberate decision-making (e.g., information provision). These interventions have varying degrees of success in terms of encouraging sustainable food choices.

This mini-review outlines some of the ways in which our understanding of sustainable food choices could be enhanced. This includes a call for the inclusion of possible moderators and mediators (past behavior, attitudes, beliefs, values) as part of effect measurements, because these elucidate the mechanisms by which behavior change occurs. In light of the climate change challenge, studies that include long-term effect measurements are essential as these can provide insight on how to foster sustained and durable changes.”

This article was shared with us through our ICDA SFS Toolkit Community of Practice forum titled: Behaviour Change Techniques In Sustainability. Join us on the forum to learn & GROW together!

Nordic food systems for improved health and sustainability: Baseline assessment to inform transformation (2019)

According to the report “Nordic food systems for improved health and sustainability: Baseline assessment to inform transformation (2019)”, there are sufficient data on Nordic food systems to understand the crucial action areas and to begin taking immediate steps towards food systems transformations. A transformation implies a journey into aspects partly unknown and untested. The report highlights the complementarity of scientific assessment and normative dialogue on this journey.

Dietitians and Nutritionists (D-Ns) are key to this! From the report:

Food system actors would benefit from building a common understanding of desired pathways towards transformation, which should be informed by the best available evidence. This can be achieved through sustained, cross-sectoral (e.g. policy, business, research, civil society, producer, consumer) stakeholder dialogues. It is particularly important to include stakeholders who are often marginalized in these types of collaborative decision-making processes.

There will be challenges to initiating these changes, such as adopting a ‘whole food system’ approach; addressing trade-offs among food system goals; and confronting prevailing forces and lock-ins. Yet these challenges should not be an excuse for inaction.

Key messages

  • Food systems should be a critical lever of change in the Nordics to reach global health and environmental sustainability commitments.
  • The gap between current and desired food systems is substantial enough to require transformative change.
  • An integrated food systems approach aligning agricultural, production, trade, manufacturing, retailing and consumption priorities must be taken.
  • There is enough evidence on necessary food system changes to begin action in setting current food systems on a trajectory towards healthy and sustainable development.
  • Sustained, multi-sectoral forums are needed to steer Nordic food system transformation.

Next steps

  • Begin immediate action to transform Nordic food systems
  • Initiate a multi-stakeholder scenario development process to define a common vision for Nordic food systems
  • Develop strategies to handle the trade-offs of change
  • Evaluate Nordic food systems in the global context

Acknowledgement: This page is an extracted from the introduction to the report.

Catalan Food Based Dietary Guideline (2020)(Catalan)

The Catalan Food Based Dietary Guideline was developed by the Catalan Public Health Agency and is a very useful tool for following a healthy and sustainable diet. Sustainability recommendations are provided in boxes called “care about the environment” such as drinking tap water, prioritizing consumption of legumes more than meat, consuming local foods, purchasing olive oil in large packaging to reduce plastic use, and more.

This resource is in Catalan only. It was provided by @juliamunoz_dn the ICDA SFS Toolkit’s Regional Contact for Spain.

Guide to a healthy and low-cost diet for families with children (2020)(Spanish)

The ICDA SFS Toolkit Regional Contact for Spain, Júlia Muñoz (@juliamunoz_dn in our COP), collaborated with her colleagues (Dr, RD Elena Carrillo, RD Marta Anguera, and Dr Irene Cussó) in the development of this document to help citizens follow a healthier and more sustainable diet at the minimum cost. This guideline is based on the results of a previous European-lead research  carried out at Blanquerna School of Health Sciences Ramon Llull University  to promote a healthy and economical diet for different types of families. They then worked with the Barcelona City Council to publish two documents:

1) Guide to a healthy and low-cost diet for families with children. The guide can serve municipal professionals and other social agents or entities to support families in situations of social vulnerability in the field of food. The ultimate goal is to have a useful tool that families and entities can use to quickly manage the fundamental right to adequate food with a small budget.

2) A booklet on Healthy and economic food for families with children. This is a practical booklet for all citizens, mainly aimed at families with children and adolescents from 18 months to 18 years old, especially in situations of economic difficulties, which provides them with guidance and recommendations to prepare healthy and economic daily meals. The guide provides a shopping list for different types of families, seasonal menus, and an estimated cost for one person. The sample menus were prepared based on recommendations of the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition and the Public Health Agency of Catalonia.

Júlia explains that the recommendations include practices for food sustainability such as the use of leftovers to create new recipes or select seasonal foods. Given the current situation of increasing food insecurity due to the rise of food prices, and acknowledging that when people suffer from stress they tend to eat convenient and non-healthy foods (which have a high environmental impact apart from impairing health), it is important to identify these types of resources to keep promoting sustainable diets in a practical way.

Impacto ecológico de la alimentación en España (2022)

Presentamos la nueva edición (31) de Cuadernos de las Cooperativas de Consumidores con un monográfico sobre el «Impacto ecológico de la alimentación en España». Nuestros hábitos de alimentación y el sistema actual de producción y consumo de alimentos tienen un indudable impacto en la salud del planeta, de manera que las decisiones de compra y consumo deberían ser tomadas con la mayor información posible.

Como sociedad, es necesario avanzar hacia modelos más sostenibles y todos los eslabones de la cadena alimentaria deben contribuir a mitigar el impacto ambiental de nuestras prácticas y actividades. Analizado en términos de oportunidad, el camino hacia la sostenibilidad se presenta como un buen momento para transformar nuestro sistema alimentario.

En este trabajo se aborda, desde el punto de vista del sector de la alimentación, cómo nuestros comportamientos y decisiones de consumo generan considerables impactos ambientales y qué se necesita para minimizar los efectos de nuestros hábitos cotidianos con respecto a los alimentos. Esta publicación forma parte del Proyecto “Impacto ecológico de la alimentación”, subvencionado por Ministerio de Consumo, y cuenta con el apoyo y colaboración del Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación.

Hemos conseguido reunir las reflexiones de responsables en la materia y reconocidos especialistas, incluyendo los aspectos normativos y nutricionales, dando voz al sector de la producción y la distribución comercial. Cada artículo se aproxima al problema con un punto de vista diferente, configurando un completo trabajo de lectura recomendada.

Las personas consumidoras quieren reducir su huella ecológica y ya apuestan por las empresas que se comprometen y actúan para reducir tanto sus emisiones como los impactos ambientales. Pero cada día es más patente la gran distancia que existe entre la intención y la acción. A esto se añade el aumento del coste de la vida, que impide tomar decisiones de forma responsable con el planeta. En esta situación, el precio se ha convertido en una barrera para el comportamiento sostenible, por lo que debemos tener en consideración a aquellos colectivos de personas vulnerables para que no se queden fuera en estos momentos y avancen igualmente en el camino hacia la reducción del impacto ambiental de los hábitos de compra y consumo de alimentos. 

En la apuesta por la sostenibilidad, compartida de forma unánime por todos los sectores, hay muchas lagunas y la persona consumidora, como último eslabón de la cadena, reclama más información y un compromiso real y contrastable del sector de la alimentación con el medio ambiente, para que se ofrezcan productos que nos permita seguir unos patrones de alimentación más saludables, a la vez que sostenibles. 

Con este Monográfico también queremos hacer, en nombre de las cooperativas de consumo un llamamiento al compromiso sincero con la sostenibilidad, impulsando innovaciones y nuevas oportunidades empresariales, que permitan avanzar hacia un sistema alimentario más sostenible y respetuoso con el planeta y las personas.

Why Bees Matter – The importance of bees and other pollinators for food and agriculture (2018)

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) collaborated with the Republic of Slovenia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food to create this pamphlet in 2018 for World Bee Day: Why Bees Matter – The importance of bees and other pollinators for food and agriculture. It reports that 3 out of 4 crops across the globe producing fruits or seeds for human use as food depend, at least in part, on pollinators.

“World Bee Day presents an opportunity to recognize the role of beekeeping, bees and other pollinators in increasing food security, improving nutrition and fighting hunger as well as in providing key ecosystem services for agriculture.” – José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General.

FAO has a page dedicated to Pollinators.