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FAO Policy Guidance Note #12: Food systems for healthy diets

Strengthening Sector Policies for Better Food Security and Nutrition Results

This guidance note supports the use of a comprehensive food systems approach (rather than a sectoral approach) and gives guidance on how to use food systems entry points to guide the delivery of healthy diets and subsequently address all forms of malnutrition. However, particular focus is given to tackling overweight and obesity and preventing NCDs through healthier diets because of their increasing prevalence globally. The food systems approach detailed in this guidance note encompasses the creation of enabling food environments alongside cross-government policy dialogue. It aims to support decision-makers and stakeholders in the food and agriculture sector by addressing the following questions:

  • How can each domain of the food system be coordinated to better contribute to healthy diets in order to prevent all forms of malnutrition, in particular overweight and obesity as well as diet-related NCDs?
  • What changes in the food system are needed? What are the policy options that would positively impact people’s diets?
  • What is the best way to actually bring about policy change?

This policy guidance note examines the various policy and intervention opportunities arising across the food system to support increased availability of and better access to affordable healthy diets. Through a stepwise approach, the guidance note supports decision-makers and stakeholders to better understand the interactions between the relevant policy instruments for reshaping food systems and creating enabling food environments in support of healthy diets, identify policy options and understand the political economy in order to facilitate policy change.

The FIRST’s Policy Guidance Notes series ensures that policy makers have the support they need to understand how sectoral issues affect food security and nutrition and to recognize how to incorporate these considerations into their policies.

FAO Policy Guidance Note #12: Food systems for healthy diets


22nd International Congress of Nutrition (IUNS-ICN) 22nd IUNS-ICN POSTPONED to December 2022  The 22nd IUNS-ICN was scheduled to be held from September 14-19, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. In view of the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,…

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