Nutrition and food systems - international evidence on effective policies and programmes

27 September 2017

This new report by the High Level Panel of Experts for Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE/FAO) makes the case for interventions that contribute to healthier food environments and shape dietary patterns in order to improve nutrition and food security.

The purpose of this report is two-fold: (i) to analyse how food systems influence people’s dietary patterns and nutritional outcomes; and (ii) to highlight effective policies and programmes that have the potential to shape food systems, contribute to improved nutrition and ensure that food is produced, distributed and consumed in a sustainable manner that protects the right to adequate food for all.

Key recommendations include:

  • Improve connectivity between rural, peri-urban, and urban supply and demand in order to propose to consumers a greater diversity of nutritious foods and support local economies, through appropriate infrastructure, markets and technologies, including e-commerce;
  • Provide financial and promotional incentives for retailers and food outlet owners, including street food vendors, to sell safe foods, made with less sodium and a higher proportion of healthy oils, fruits and vegetables;
  • Make nutritious foods more accessible and convenient in public places (schools, hospitals, etc.), as well as in home and school gardens, and rural marketplaces to provide greater dietary diversity and quality.
  • Design and implement policies and regulations that improve the built environment to promote nutritious food, including zoning regulations and tax regimes to minimize food deserts and swamps.
  • Promote food cultures, including cooking skills and the importance of food in cultural heritage, as a vehicle to promote nutrition literacy.

View the report


Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities
07 917 230 121

Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme run by

Soil Association

Food Matters

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

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