- Do you have any general comments on the draft political declaration and its vision (paragraphs 1-3 of the zero draft)?
The examples of malnutrition listed in paragraph 1 are undernourishment, micronutrient deficiencies, unbalanced diets. The term “unbalanced diets” doesn’t exclusively imply overnutrition or excess caloric consumption so the inclusion of “obesity” in the list of examples is recommended.
In paragraph 2, statistics are provided for undernourishment, undernutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies but the point on obesity could be strengthened with statistics instead of just saying “obesity in children and adults has been going up quickly…” as well as including some statistics on prevalence of NCDs like diabetes and heart disease.
Expand the point on “different types of malnutrition co-exist in most countries” to include a description of the two extremes at opposite ends of the spectrum (e.g. ranging from stunting and wasting to overweight and obesity).
Paragraph 3 focuses on the negative nutrients we are consuming more of with processed foods (e.g. saturated and trans fats, salt, sugars) but should also describe the declining consumption of fibre.
Another challenge on the food system to provide safe and nutritious food for all will be population growth.
- Do you have any comments on the background and analysis provided in the political declaration (paragraphs 4-20 of the zero draft)?
Paragraph 9 should further emphasize the environmental impact of food systems by making the following edit.
“Food systems - …….determine the quantity as well as quality of the food supply in terms of nutritional content, diversity, and safety, and environmental impact.”
Paragraph 10 describes the need for an adequate supply of fruits and vegetables, unsaturated fat and animal source foods.
Although animal sources are higher quality protein, plant sources currently contribute to more than half of protein intakes globally and are an acceptable and affordable part of the diet in almost every culture around the world. Therefore, there is also a need to ensure availability and encourage consumption of complementary plant protein sources in order to meet nutritional needs. Plant protein sources are also relevant from the perspective of population growth and environmental sustainability.
In addition, paragraph 10 focuses on nutrients to avoid (sugars, saturated and trans-fats, salt) but does not emphasis the need for fibre and nutrient dense foods.
An alternative wording for Paragraph 10 could be “Acknowledge that food systems should produce more nutritious nutrient dense food, not just more food, and guarantee an adequate supply of fruit and vegetables, fibre and high quality protein unsaturated fat and animal source foods while avoiding excess of sugars, saturated and trans-fat and salt;...”
Paragraph 16 should also make reference to initiatives that are “culturally acceptable”.
Julianne Curran, PhD
Director of Nutrition, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs
1212-220 Portage Ave
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0A5