A food systems approach to healthy food and agriculture policy

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Exhibit 1 Examples Of The Four Benefits Of Food Systems Approaches

Benefit Benefit Benefit Benefit
Approach Focuses on broad, upstream determinants … Can suggest fresh strategies for change … Demonstrates benefits over long time fra … Encourages interdisciplinary collaborati …
Farm-to-school programs Improves nutrition by changing food serv … Logistics and relationships involved in … Full health benefits of changes in child … Joint advocacy from health and agricultu …
Sustainability in the Dietary Guidelines … Reduces environmental health harms by sh … The guidelines educate the public about … Reducing environmental impacts such as r … Public health voices enlarged the conver …
Antibiotic use in animal agriculture Reduces thriving of resistant bacteria b … Emphasizes reduced need for preventive . … Reducing antibiotic use helps preserve t … Diverse advocates and the public increas …

Mar 27 2022

Full
Answer

Is there a food systems approach to health policy?

These markers and many more suggest significant growth in policy, practice, research, and academic training based on a food systems approach. Yet this work has remained largely outside “mainstream” medical or health policy efforts. Most food-related work within the health sector remains narrowly focused at the food or food-chain level.

How can we advance a food systems and public health approach?

But promoting the public’s health demands that these efforts be made. There is a great need for further investment and engagement in the policy, practice, and research activities needed to advance a food systems and public health approach.

What can we learn from a food systems approach?

One important insight deriving from a food systems approach is that agriculture-what is grown, and how and where it is grown-plays an essential role in shaping public health. This insight has shaped our careers.

Should health and agricultural policy be considered simultaneously?

Three current policy issues demonstrate the benefit and necessity of considering health and agricultural concerns simultaneously. An example of the potential influence health and agricultural policy leaders can have when they advocate around their shared interests is the growth of farm-to-school programs.

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What is the food systems approach?

A food systems approach is a way of thinking and doing that considers the food system in its totality, taking into account all the elements, their relationships and related effects.


How does the systems approach help to understand the food system?

A systems approach provides a framework in which to identify and understand levers for action that can improve healthy food access for all and ensure equity across the system for those that produce, those that distribute, and those that consume food.


What are the benefits of using a systems approach to studying environmental health implications on our food?

First, systems approaches help shift policy attention from individual behavior to include upstream social and environmental determinants of health. Second, systems approaches can lead to fresh strategies stemming from real-world analysis inclusive of complexity, root causes, and unintended consequences.


What is healthy food policy?

The ​Healthy Food Policy Project (HFPP) identifies and elevates local laws that seek to promote access to healthy food, contribute to strong local economies, an improved environment, and health equity, with a focus on socially disadvantaged and marginalized groups.


What is food system in agriculture?

Food systems are the sum of actors and interactions along the food value chain—from input supply and production of crops, livestock, fish, and other agricultural commodities to transportation, processing, retailing, wholesaling, and preparation of foods to consumption and disposal.


What is a system approach?

Systems approach is based on the generalization that everything is inter-related and interdependent. A system is composed of related and dependent element which when in interaction, forms a unitary whole. A system is simply an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex whole.


What is the importance of food system?

Food systems are the public policy decisions; the national and global systems and supply chains; and the individuals and groups – public and private – that influence what we eat. They are important for two key reasons: What we eat – our diets – is one of the biggest drivers of health and well-being.


Why should we study about food and food systems?

By studying a bachelor of food science and nutrition, you will be immersed in a world that relies on technology and science to develop new food products, improve food systems and protect the integrity and safety of the global food supply chain.


Why sustainable food systems are important?

What do sustainable food systems in Canada look like? They steward and enhance ecosystems, and respect the needs of other species in those ecosystems. They support food literacy. They support equitable and just access to food for all Canadians in a way that is empowering, inclusive, dignifying and respectful.


What are examples of food policies?

For example, labeling calories on fast food menus, banning the use of trans fats and doubling the value of SNAP benefits when used at farmers markets (“double up food bucks”) are all policies that started at the local level, but now exist at the federal level as well.


What is a national Food Policy?

A national food policy would lay the foundation for a food system in which healthful choices are accessible to all and in which it becomes possible to nourish ourselves without exploiting other people or nature.


What is food security policy?

Food security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.


Abstract

Food has become a prominent focus of US public health policy. The emphasis has been almost exclusively on what Americans eat, not what is grown or how it is grown. A field of research, policy, and practice activities addresses the food-health-agriculture nexus, yet the work is still often considered “alternative” to the mainstream.


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Why is it important to engage in food systems thinking?

Such an approach ensures due consideration of the knock-on effects of an intervention on other parts of the food system and collaboration with others to maximise the win-wins and manage the trade-offs . It would have significant benefits in helping to enable positive outcomes for health and sustainability.


What is global food security?

Global Food Security (GFS) is a multi-agency programme, hosted by UK Research and Innovation, bringing together the main UK funders of research and training relating to food. GFS publications provide balanced analysis of food security issues on the basis of current evidence, for use by policy-makers and practitioners.


Why is thinking about problems in a systemic way and at an interdisciplinary level important?

Thinking about problems in a systemic way and at an interdisciplinary level can help ensure that challenges are tackled from multiple perspectives and in a holistic way, which more closely matches the on-the-ground reality of policy-making.

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Agriculture, Food, and Public Health

  • Tim Lang and Geof Rayner promote the concept of ecological public health, based on the core idea that “health depends on successful co-existence of the natural world and social relationships.” 2Agricultural processes, even in the most technology-rich and industrialized syste…

See more on healthaffairs.org


Three Current Policy Issues

  • Three current policy issues demonstrate the benefit and necessity of considering health and agricultural concerns simultaneously. An example of the potential influence health and agricultural policy leaders can have when they advocate around their shared interests is the growth of farm-to-school programs. The debate over including sustainability concerns in the Die…

See more on healthaffairs.org


Conclusion

  • Food and agriculture are driving forces shaping the public’s health. Addressing them jointly has the potential to open critical policy opportunities for improving nutritional and environmental health. We have described three examples, arising from well over a decade of intersectoral activities: providing children with fresh, healthy meals and building their interest in eating fruit an…

See more on healthaffairs.org


Acknowledgments

  • Roni Neff’s time was funded by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future with a gift from the GRACE Communications Foundation, which had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the article. The authors thank the anonymous reviewers, editors, and Robert Martin and Marie Spiker of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livabl…

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Notes

  1. 1 To access the Appendix, click on the Appendix link in the box to the right of the article online.
  2. 2 Lang T , Rayner G . Ecological public health: the 21st century’s big idea? An essay by Tim Lang and Geof Rayner . BMJ . 2012 ; 345 : e5466 . Crossref, Medline, Google Scholar
  3. 3 Institute of Medicine, National Research Council . A framework for assessing effects of the food system . Washington (DC) : National Academies Press ; 2015 . Google Scholar
  1. 1 To access the Appendix, click on the Appendix link in the box to the right of the article online.
  2. 2 Lang T , Rayner G . Ecological public health: the 21st century’s big idea? An essay by Tim Lang and Geof Rayner . BMJ . 2012 ; 345 : e5466 . Crossref, Medline, Google Scholar
  3. 3 Institute of Medicine, National Research Council . A framework for assessing effects of the food system . Washington (DC) : National Academies Press ; 2015 . Google Scholar
  4. 4 Mabry PL , Olster DH , Morgan GD , Abrams DB . Interdisciplinarity and systems science to improve population health: a view from the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research . Am J P…

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