Food and health in Europe: a new basis for action
WHO regional publications, European series No. 96
Poor nutrition, foodborne disease and lack of secure access to good food make an important contribution to the burden of disease and death in the WHO European Region. Better diets, food safety and food security will not only reduce or prevent suffering to individuals and societies but also help cut costs to health care systems and bring social and economic benefits to countries.
People’s chances for a healthy diet depend less on individual choices than on what food is available and whether it is affordable. Policies to benefit health through good food and nutrition must extend beyond the health sector to include sectors ranging from agriculture and food processing, manufacturing and trade to transport, retailing, catering and advertising. Food and nutrition policies should be coordinated so that public health is given due priority in the making of food policies by non-health sectors.
This publication discusses in depth the components of food and nutrition policies and the evidence supporting them. It describes food- and nutrition related ill health and its costs, shows the need for action and describes the steps for decision-makers to take. This book highlights the urgent need for integrated, multisectoral food and nutrition policies to encourage the sustainable production of food, its safety and the provision of food of high nutritional quality for all.