This year, the 44th edition of the UNSCN Nutrition (previously UNSCN News) – flagship publication of the UNSCN - explores the contexts in which consumers engage with the food system to make their decisions about acquiring, preparing and consuming food, and the impact of such food environment on their final dietary choices.

Food environments is a new concept and its relevance for a better understanding of food systems is still a matter of debate. Researchers have not yet reached a unique agreed-upon definition of food environments but they tend to converge towards a combination of external and personal factors eventually influencing people’s food choices, attitudes and habits. While food availability, prices, vendors, product properties, marketing and regulation design the food environment externally, a secure food environment also depends on personal aspects such as geographical access, affordability, convenience and desirability of food for the consumer. The food environment will influence the consumers’ dietary habits on the long-term and thus their nutritional and health status. It is thus imperative that food environments are shaped to meet the personal consumers’ needs.

Food environments are shaped by a myriad of factors: taxes and subsidies, marketing and advertisements, production and value chains etc. with their implications for consumer’s choices and the quality of diets.  What initiatives can increase consumer demand for healthy diets? What government policy and fiscal measures can positively influence what food is available to consumers and lead to healthier dietary choices?  What lessons are available from national and/or local interventions?

The 44th edition of the UNSCN Nutrition - Food environments: Where people meet the food system provides an overview of several food environment related issues through selected publications of authors from all stakeholder groups: government, academics, civil society, and the private sector.

09 July 2019
15:30 – 17:00 (GMT+2)

Register here 

A solid evidence base is a pre-requisite for food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) to be able to address country-specific nutrition needs while being socially, culturally and economically appropriate. With the increasing burden of overweight and obesity and other modern sustainable development challenges, the evidence base must thus reflect these evolving considerations. In addition, amidst increasing pressures from commercial interests and civil society/academia’s questioning of the integrity of dietary advice, maintaining transparency and high standards in the evidence review of FBDGs has become a critical issue.

However, with the exception of some countries, not much is known about the actual methods used and activities carried out during the FBDGs evidence review process.

This FAO webinar will tackle some of these gaps focusing on the following questions:

  • Why is the evidence review a key step in the development of FBDGs?
  • What are the main processes involved? What is the current FAO process for conducting an evidence review?
  • What are some challenges and responses in LMICs?

The webinar will also highlight two country cases and present FAO’s current work in this field.

Presenters:
Ana Islas and Ramani Wijesinha-Bettoni, Nutrition Officers, FAO
Joyce Kinabo, Professor, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
Gabriela Rosero Mora, Coordinator of the FBDGs process, Ecuador

 

This is the second of a series of six webinars on FBDGs organized by the Nutrition Education and Consumer Awareness Team of FAO

9-18 July 2019
UN HQ, New York 

The meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development in 2019 convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, will be held from Tuesday, 9 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019; including the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum (16-18 July 2019).

The theme will be "Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality". The set of goals to be reviewed in depth is the following:

  • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 16Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

For more information on Thematic SDG Reviews, click here.

In accordance with paragraph 84. of the 2030 Agenda, Member States have decided that the HLPF shall carry out regular voluntary reviews of the 2030 Agenda which will include developed and developing countries as well as relevant UN entities and other stakeholders. The reviews are state-led, involving ministerial and other relevant high-level participants, and provide a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders.

In 2019, 51 countries (10 for the second time) have volunteered to present their national voluntary reviews to the HLPF. For more details, please click here.

Global demand for agricultural products is projected to grow by 15 percent over the coming decade, while productivity growth is expected to keep inflation-adjusted prices of the major agricultural commodities to remain at or below current levels, according to the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook.
The United Nations food standards body Codex Alimentarius Commission is meeting in Geneva from 08 to 12 July 2019 to adopt food safety and quality standards.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has provided FAO with a grant of nearly $35 million for this work, while the provincial governments of Punjab and Sindh have committed an additional $12.7 million in co-financing to be managed by FAO.
The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly traded food commodities, averaged 173 points in June, down 0.3 percent from May.
Some 41 countries, of which 31 are in Africa, continue to be in need of external assistance for food, according to the FAO's Crop Prospects and Food Situation report issued today.
New projections on agricultural production, expected developments in the global commodities and food trade, with a feature on the Latin America and the Caribbean region