Around 3 billion people, in 193 countries, have a poor power quality which contributes to health outcomes, and nutrient poor, and also to the economic downturn and the development progress. So, this year the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) celebrates the World Food Day under the motto "The climate is changing, and the food and agriculture must also change."
in this regard, the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, the FAO published a report that suggests that the burden of malnutrition is equivalent to the experienced a global financial crisis every year. Describes the economic impact that malnutrition has on the individuals, the nations and the economies of today, providing for the expansion of the costs and the consequences if these trends continue. the Also in Portugal this is a worrying situation: in 2014, approximately 45,8% of the population I found myself in a situation of food insecurity.
The report now published by the FAO, should be understood as a warning, and a guide to guidance for Governments and decision-makers to change the course of the current through action and investment to create food systems that allow a power quality and, in turn, promote the health.
nutrition does not only serve food to the people. Feeds for the life and growth of individuals, communities and nations, and is therefore not reformularmos food systems focusing on nutrition, we lose an opportunity to create the future of the next generations stronger, healthier, and more prosperous.
The food systems, or the systems that promote the growth of food, the way they are produced and created, transported, processed and marketed, play a central role in the provision of a high quality power to the people, but the food systems of today are looking for quantity and not so much in the quality. On the other hand, the dietary habits of low-quality are a driving force to increase the prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity.
all over the world, it was reported that 1.9 billion adults were overweight, of which 600 million are obese, accounting for 39% and 13% of the population, respectively, in 2014. In Portugal, more than half of adults have excess weight (52,8%) and 15.4% are obese and one in three children is overweight and of these, 13.9 percent obesity, values situated above the average of countries belonging to the OECD, and who reveal a tendency to the adoption of dietary patterns characterized by intake of energy above the needs, in most cases associated with the consumption of food products with high levels of sugar and fats and low nutritional density.
In Portugal, through data from the Food trade Balance of the Portuguese (BAP), there has been the increased availability of oils and fats (eur 1.82%) and sugars (0.29 percent) between 2009/2010 and 2013/2014. In the same period, there was a decrease of 5,35% of the fruit. Not providing an exact measure of consumption, you can infer from the data of the BAP that the standard food of the Portuguese is changing, and this change constitutes one of the main determinants for the growth of overweight and obesity.
Without immediate action, the situation will worsen dramatically in the next 20 years. Without significant changes in policies and investments, by 2030 the number of people with excess weight and obesity can increase of 1.33 billion in 2005 to 3,28 billion, a projection to one-third of the world’s population.
The data of the changes in dietary habits and health status of populations may be a reflection that our food systems may be failing, the foods that are produced, which are accessible and which are selected by the population underwent rapid changes that will remain if nothing is done.
so, now is the time to take measures to ensure that food systems and nutrition will promote the adequate development of the populations.
the Data in this report show that financial growth can assist to relieve hunger but does not guarantee access to a healthier diet and quality.
Today, the populations may have better access to food than their ancestors. However, it is observed that the intake of foods rich in fats, sugars and salt, foods that harm the quality of the food, has greatly increased. Please note that the purchase of beverages and food processed in developed countries, has increased from a third to more than half of the people, from 2000 to 2015.
This is the time to rethink the priorities in health, and in particular the way that we look at food systems and nutrition. Nutrition is not only a health problem, or social, but an investment that can stimulate economic growth.
our Government should be able to put the food systems in the center of the action global with policies tailored to meet the needs of our country, with actions that include: prioritize improvements in the quality of the food; develop policies to regulate the formulation of the product; encourage the production of high-quality food; improving information to consumers; to institutionalize the power of high-quality services dependent on the public sector; improve the availability and accessibility of fruit, vegetables and legumes; and promote greater collaboration between sectors, such as agriculture, health, social protection and trade.
policy-makers have the challenge to put nutrition and food on the political agenda. the This week the Government announced measures million: 12 million euros for the surgery of obesity and € 80 million from a new tax on soft drinks. The first measure of treatment, the second is a recipe that will revert to the National Health Service. Is that also intended for the treatment?
If yes, Portugal has failed in the past and will continue to fail in the future to not understand the need to invest in preventing the health of the Portuguese and the well of the sustainability of the SNS.
Bastonária of the Order of Nutritionists