The Relevance of National Food Policies



Relevance of National Food Policies

Throughout history, insufficient food has remained a struggle for many all over the world. Nutrition exists through food security, a sanitary environment, health services, and proper care [1]. If adequate nutrition is not available, it can lead to malnutrition, overweight/obesity, and micronutrient deficiencies. Each has detrimental effects on health. Malnutrition can also cause large-scale problems, such as the economic development of a country [1]. Being overweight and obese can lead to general health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and strokes. Micronutrient deficiencies are caused by the lack of nutrient-rich foods and can lead to poor development and diet.


Insufficient food can harm those of all ages. For example, malnourished children do not develop fully. There can be gaps in their “full genetic potential in cognitive, reproductive and immune development” [1]. In 2013, at least one or more of these 3 nutritional burdens were present in every country [1]. Given the great impact that food insecurity has on the world, it is important to note the connection between food systems and the government. In an effort to decrease nutrient issues, food policies were created.


To help stimulate food production, the government increased the production of inexpensive food such as items with long shelf lives and high carbohydrates. With unhealthy food being both inexpensive and accessible, overweight citizens and obesity became inevitable [2].

Chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and several cancers became more common due to a generally unhealthy diet. Although the beginning of government intervention food policies helped with food security, other aspects of a nutritional diet have not been met [2].


Food policy now has the power to begin to reverse this, by implementing nutritional approaches with food manufacturers and distributors. Valuing nutrition directly, rather than indirectly through economy and trade.


Types of food policy interventions [2]:

Level: Local, city, state, or national government (can be implemented in any of these leveled areas).


Target: Consumer, organization, health system, production, and industry (creating policies w