Food and Health in Europe: Summary: A New Basis for Action (A EURO Publication)
Aimed at policy-makers, this booklet summarizes a larger forthcoming publication that discusses the components of food and nutrition policies and the evidence supporting them. It describes ill health related to food and nutrition and the associated costs, shows the need for action, and describes the steps for policy-makers to take. The larger book and this summary
highlight the urgent need for integrated, multisectoral food and nutrition policies to encourage the sustainable production of food, safe production, and the provision of food of high nutritional quality .
Poor nutrition, food-born disease, and lack of secure access to good food make an important contribution to the burden of disease and mortality 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.
Food and health in Europe Summary The World Health Organization was established in 1948 as a specialized agency of the United Nations serving as the directing and coordinating authority for international health matters and public health. One of WHO’s constitutional functions is to provide objective and reliable information and advice in the field of human health, a responsibility that it fulfils in part through its publications programmes. Through its publications, the Organization seeks to
approach would start with optimum maternal nutrition and proceed to optimum infant feeding patterns, such as breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months and timely introduction of appropriate foods. There is evidence that low breastfeeding rates are associated with increased risks of CVD (56). The value of action both to prevent and to treat disease continues into old age. Nutrition is one of several areas addressed in the WHO report Active ageing: a policy framework (57). The report identifies
survey (HBS) data. Methodology for the exploitation of HBS food data and results on food availability in six European countries. Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1998. 18. DEPARTMENT FOR FOOD, ENVIRONMENT AND RURAL AFFAIRS. National food survey 2000. London, The Stationery Office, 2001. 19. Kazakhstan demographic and health survey (DHS), 1999. Calverton, MD, Macro International Inc., 2000. 20. Turkey demographic and health survey (DHS), 1998. Calverton,
inactivity and protecting against foodborne diseases require urgent attention over the next few years. One of the most important steps is the coordination of policy-making to ensure that the food policies of all sectors give the proper priority to public health. vii viii Food and health in Europe Both the larger book and this summary highlight the urgent need for integrated, multisectoral food and nutrition policies to encourage the sustainable production of food, its safety and the provision
reported. These cases are just the tip of the iceberg. Overall, incidents of foodborne disease reported to the WHO Surveillance Programme for Control of Foodborne Infections and Intoxications in Europe have increased over the last 20 years. Illness caused by Salmonella and Campylobacter – the most common agents of foodborne infection – has increased dramatically in many European countries. Reports of infection with Campylobacter have risen continuously since 1985. They are now the most commonly