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More than 32 million of the world’s poorest people face being pulled back into extreme poverty because of COVID-19, leading UN economists said on Thursday, highlighting data showing that the pandemic is likely to cause the worst economic crisis in decades among least developed countries (LDCs). 

In a call for urgent investment and support from the wider international community, the UN trade and development agency, UNCTAD, warned that the new coronavirus risked reversing years of “painstaking progress” in poverty reduction, nutrition and education.

 

To read the article, please click below:

Revealed: The cost of the pandemic on world's poorest countries

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Global Report on Food Crises 2020

The Global Report on Food Crises tracks the numbers and locations of acutely food-insecure people most in need of emergency food, nutrition and livelihood assistance during the peak or worst point in 2019.

The report is the result of a joint, consensus-based assessment of acute food insecurity situations around the world by 16 partner organizations.

It is facilitated by the Food Security Information Network, which provides the core coordination and technical support to pillar 1 of the Global Network Against Food Crises.

 

Click here for more information and to download the report: Full report - 2020 Global Report on Food Crises Joint analysis for better decisions

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Letter in response to: McAuliffe SRay SFallon E, et al Dietary micronutrients in the wake of COVID-19: an appraisal of evidence with a focus on high-risk groups and preventative healthcare. 

 
McAuliffe et al., 2020 present evidence on the central role of selected nutrients on immune function against respiratory infections and clinical data from studies using prophylactic supplementation. Clinical studies have not yet provided conclusive results on the beneficial role of nutrient supplementation to the support of the immune system which can be translated into a clinical application.
 
This letter elaborates on reasons provided for this: 1) poor study design, 2) lack of an established methodology for the assessment of the micronutrient status; and 3) unstandardised optimal dosing of the nutritional supplements. 
 
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EFSA has developed a tool to help food business operators decide when to apply the ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ date to their products.

The ‘use by’ date on food is about safety – foods can be eaten until this date but not after, even if they look and smell fine. ‘Best before’ refers to quality – the food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best. For example, its flavour and texture might not be as good.

The European Commission estimates that up to 10% of the 88 million tonnes of food waste generated annually in the EU is linked to date marking on food products.

Read full article.

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"The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating: tens of millions of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty, while the number of undernourished people, currently estimated at nearly 690 million, could increase by up to 132 million by the end of the year."

Please follow the link for the article: Impact of COVID-19 on people's livelihoods, their health and our food systems

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The climate emergency is recognised as one of the greatest threats to our planet. The UK government is participating in global efforts to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C and has set legislative targets for the UK to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. UK retailers recognise and support the need for urgent action and have come together through the BRC to draw up this Climate Action Roadmap with the aim of accelerating progress towards a net zero retail industry.

The Roadmap provides retailers with guidance on the steps they can take to decarbonise their operations and supply chains. It gives retailers tools to plot their own journey to net zero, with the needs of their customers, employees and business at the centre. The Roadmap also provides clear directions in order to allow retail industry suppliers, business partners and other stakeholders to take action to decarbonise their own activities.

The aim of the roadmap is that by 2040, every UK consumer can make purchases – in store and online – safe in the knowledge that they are not contributing to climate change.

Download the Executive Summary here, email climate@brc.org.uk to learn how to get involved, and read on for more detail.

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Never has the role of chief medical officer (CMO) been under such scrutiny. In a rare interview, England’s CMO Professor Chris Whitty speaks to The BMJ’s editor in chief, Fiona Godlee, about the pandemic and what it’s like to be a physician in Whitehall

This interview was conducted on 28 October and has been edited for length and clarity.

Chris Whitty as the chief medical advisor to the UK government and has played a pivotal role in shaping the country's response to Covid-19 and in this conversation he gives an important insight into managing the risks and how the pandemic will impact us over the winter.


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8060374068?profile=RESIZE_710x Food Standards Scotland’s updated Situation Report – The Scottish Diet: It Needs to Change 2020 highlights the ongoing challenge for people in Scotland to have a healthier diet, including new exploration of the out of home environment, such as food bought ‘on the go’, and from deliveries and takeaways.

It is important to note that this data was captured prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore provides a baseline for further investigation on its impact on diet in Scotland.

The report shows that:

  • There continues to be a lack of progress towards the Scottish dietary goals and improving obesity and diet related poor health
  • Two out of three people in Scotland remain either overweight or obese, with a higher proportion of people living with obesity in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived
  • We continue to buy a lot of discretionary foods and drinks, such as confectionery, cakes, biscuits, pastries, savoury snacks and sugary drinks from shops and supermarkets, and these tend to be heavily promoted
  • The food and drink we purchase from the out of home environment tend to be less healthy, with fried chicken and burger meals and sides among the top takeaway meals and dishes
  • People in Scotland support the food environment providing healthier food to make it easier to choose a healthier diet.

Read full report.

 

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A total diet study in Benin, Cameroon, Mali and Nigeria investigated what people eat, and their exposure to a selection of 800 of the chemicals that can be found in food.

Also in this episode: the impact of the current pandemic on the spices industry in India, and how the European Food Safety Authority communicates food safety in 23 languages.

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The 2018 and 2019 conference proceedings have now been published and we are looking forward to the 6th NNEdPro International Summit on Medical & Public Health Nutrition Education & Research, which is themed: ‘A 2020 Evaluation of Global Knowledge Networks in the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025)’ on Saturday 26 September 2020.  

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7966618088?profile=RESIZE_584x FAO has published a report for #worldfoodsafetyday in all 6 UN languages:

Arabic
https://lnkd.in/d7RakbAhttps://lnkd.in/dvcuwC2

Chinese
https://lnkd.in/dE5s957https://lnkd.in/dZuBiBD

English
https://lnkd.in/dpfcpHvhttps://lnkd.in/dwUz_Zu

French
https://lnkd.in/d6T57JWhttps://lnkd.in/d6GXtsy

Russian
https://lnkd.in/dA3gPaqhttps://lnkd.in/dnkF4zB

Spanish
https://lnkd.in/dVy68nxhttps://lnkd.in/dHJFC5t
#foodsafety

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In late July, following considerable interest and reporting on the relationship between obesity and COVID-19, the UK Government released a policy paper:

‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’

As a group of nutrition researchers, educators and clinicians, we recognise the complexity which spans diet, nutrition and health interfacing with diverse domains such as the social sciences, economics and politics on one hand as well as genetics and biomedical sciences on the other. We also recognise the complexities associated with obesity and weight loss. Therefore, we advocate for the appreciation and adoption of a wider, complete understanding of the science behind obesity and the strategies which are needed to address it.

In its' response to the UK Government policy paper on obesity, NNEdPro discussed four points of the proposed obesity strategy and provide recommendations for a more comprehensive and impactful response.

Read full NNEdPro response.

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7928384875?profile=RESIZE_180x180The International Commission for Micro Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) opinion on SARS-CoV-2 & its relationship to food safety: "ICMSF believes that it is highly unlikely that the ingestion of SARS-CoV-2 will result in illness; there is no documented evidence that food is a significant source and/or vehicle for transmission of SARS-CoV-2. It is vital that one differentiates a hazard from a risk, i.e. the mere presence of an infectious agent on food does not necessarily mean that an infection will occur."

“There are no foods that should be considered a risk or warrant consideration as a vector for SARS-CoV-2.” 

Read full opinion.

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USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) has published its annual International Food Security Assessment, which shows that the worldwide coronavirus pandemic has made food security worse.

The annual report determines how much access people in 76 low and middle-income countries have to food. The answer to that question requires tracking incomes, food prices, and other economic factors including agriculture production and market conditions.

“In the 76 low- and middle-income countries examined in the report, the number of people considered food insecure in 2020 was estimated at almost 761 million people or 19.8 percent of the total population. The shock to GDP from COVID-19 is projected to increase the number of food-insecure people by 83.5 million people in 2020 to 844.5 million and increase the share of the population that is food insecure to 22 percent.”

Read full article.

 

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Bar chart illustrating which foods were most difficult to buy in shops, supermarkets, and online grocery services. Dry goods is the highest, followed by tinned food.

      3 key ways the pandemic impacted access to food 

  1. There was a lack of clarity about how much food people needed to buy.
  2. The pandemic made more people unable to afford food.
  3. Foodservice and hospitality businesses and their suppliers are going to feel the effects of lockdown for years.

EFRA's key recommendations to fix the problem 

1.Ensuring people can afford enough healthy food is the responsibility of multiple Government departments. To bring that work together, the Government should appoint a Minister for Food Security who is empowered to draw together policy across departments on food supply, nutrition and welfare.

2.The Government should work with producers, processors and wholesalers servicing the hospitality and foodservice sector to monitor the health of food and drink suppliers as supply chains restart.

3.The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) should continue to provide £5 million in annual funding to FareShare to redistribute surplus food from farms and across the supply chain to frontline food aid providers for a further two years. This would help those who struggle to afford food as the effects of the pandemic continue, and reduce food waste from farms.

4.Food supply to supermarkets continued because we were able to keep food coming into the country. Future crises could stop this flow and cause more serious problems. The Government has to update its food resilience plans, taking into account how consumer behaviour can disrupt food supply and whether our efficient "just-in-time" supply chains are as resilient as they need to be.

Read summary and full report.

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FILE PHOTO: People eat chips whilst walking along the promenade at the British holiday resort of Scarborough, England July 16, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs/File Photo

Your weight is affected by a myriad of biological and societal factors

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The Environment Secretary Michael Gove appointed Henry Dimbleby to conduct this year-long review, and to then set out my recommendations within six months of its completion. Government will then publish an ambitious, multi-disciplinary National Food Strategy, the first of its kind for 75 years, in the form of a White Paper.

Part One of the UK National Food Strategy has been published; the recommendations cover two main themes:

• Making sure a generation of our most disadvantaged children do not get left behind.Eating well in childhood is the very foundation stone of equality of opportunity. It is essential for both physical and mental growth.

• Grasping the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to decide what kind of trading nation we want to be.The essence of sovereignty is freedom – including the freedom to uphold our own values and principles within the global marketplace. 

Over the next year the team will speak to people from across the food chain, from farmers in the field to chefs in the kitchen. We will consult experts from around the world, as well as those whose voices are seldom heard, but who have personal experience of the failings of our food system: low-paid workers in agriculture and food production, people with diet-related diseases, farmers living on the margins, and many more.

If you would like to be involved in the conversation, please get in touch: communications@nationalfoodstrategy.org.

 

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Fig. 1

Transformation of the food system at the national scale requires concerted action from government, business and civil society, based on sound evidence from the research community. A programme for transformation of the United Kingdom’s food system, for healthy people and a healthy environment, is described here.

A coordinated national approach

A newly launched, eight-year, £47.5 million strategic research programme, led by the Global Food Security programme (www.foodsecurity.ac.uk) and funded by UK Research and Innovation in partnership with government departments, is focusing on transformational change of the UK’s food system for healthy people and a healthy environment5. It brings together academia, government, business and civil society organizations within interdisciplinary consortia to provide evidence for multi-pronged and simultaneous action across the food system. 

Read full article.

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ICU Nutritional Management – Insights from the frontline

By Dr Timothy Eden, RD with contributions from Shane McAuliffe, RD and edited by Professor Sumantra Ray, RNutr

 Insights from the frontline as NNEdPro Global Innovation Panel (GIP) member Dr Tim Eden RD shares his own experience of the challenges faced in the nutritional management of COVID-19 patients in ICU: https://twitter.com/TimothyEdenRD/status/1245634083012505602 

With a high rate of COVID-19 patients in the overweight/obese category as well as those with Type-2 Diabetes, this can present a significant challenge when estimating and fulfilling these individualised nutritional requirements. Looking specifically at obese patients, there has historically been an attitude of underfeeding in intensive care, but this cohort is equally at risk of becoming malnourished (rapid, significant and unplanned weight loss) when nutritional requirements are not met for prolonged periods, and this can be a predictor of poorer clinical course and outcomes (1). The following narrative is not intended to replace clinical guidelines but is designed to highlight some key aspects relevant to nutritional assessment in ICU when treating patients with COVID-19.

Read full article.

 

 

 

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