A healthy diet helps to protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as a range of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and other conditions. However, increased production of processed foods, rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles have led to a shift in dietary patterns. People are now consuming more foods high in energy, fats, free sugars and salt/sodium, and many people do not eat enough fruit, vegetables and wholegrains.
Diet can depend on an individual’s food choices, but also the availability and affordability of healthy foods and sociocultural factors. Therefore, promoting a healthy food environment requires involvement across multiple sectors and stakeholders, including government, the public and the private sector.
Governments have a central role in creating a healthy food environment that enables people to easily adopt and maintain healthy dietary practices. Effective actions by policy-makers include:
- Coordinating trade, food system and agricultural policies with the protection and promotion of public health;
- Encouraging consumers’ demand for healthy foods and meals; and
- Promoting healthy nutrition across the life course.
The WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health was adopted in 2004 by the World Health Assembly. It called on governments, WHO, international partners, the private sector and civil society to take action at global, regional and local levels to support healthy diets and physical activity.
Check the WHO page and the resources here: Promoting healthy diets