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284. Fruits and Vegetables: Input from the United Nations Food Systems Summit Scientific Group

 

The United Nations Food Systems Summit will be held in New York in September 2021. A group of leading researchers and scientists from around the world has been set up to support the process leading to the summit. The Scientific Group is responsible for ensuring the robustness, scope and independence of the science and outcomes of the summit, and works closely with other organizations involved in the summit.  

Last month, the Scientific Group published a brief entitled Fruits and Vegetables for Healthy Diets: Priorities for Food System Research and Action, as an input to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit in context of this year's International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. The report noted that although fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy diet, their intake remains low for the vast majority of people in the world. 

The brief also reviews academic literature on food system issues and summarizes the actions that food systems can take to make fruits and vegetables more available, accessible, and desirable. These actions include push (production and supply), pull (demand and activism), and policy (legislation and governance) mechanisms. Action options are also specified at the macro (global and national), meso (institutional, city and community) and micro (household and individual) levels. The full brief is available here.

Further research is needed on the different ways the food systems can be restructured to make fruits and vegetables available, affordable, accessible and desirable anytime, anywhere. However, as we already know that a fruit- and vegetable- rich food system can help everyone eat a healthy diet, the next step is to accelerate our actions in that direction.

References

UN Food Systems Summit 2021: Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021. https://sc-fss2021.org/ Accessed on April 21, 2021

Harris J., et al. Fruits and vegetables for healthy diets: Priorities for food system research and action. Food Systems Summit Brief, March 2021. https://sc-fss2021.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/FSS_Brief_Fruits_Vege…  Accessed on April 21, 2021

Contributor: SHIRATORI Sakiko (Information and Public Relations Office)