With striking similarity to the accord among leaders on matters related to climate change, there is growing global agreement that governments, educators and health care professionals need to urgently address fundamental problems with our nutritional environment and food literacy, and to understand the damage to health, primarily chronic diseases, caused by our current food systems.
A group of leading scientists, physicians and academicians has challenged the G7 Health Ministers to hear uncomfortable truths and to develop long-term approaches that ensure safe and sustainable food systems, create economic measures to reverse the growing dependency on highly processed and unhealthy foods and invest significantly in nutrition education. The group sent their challenge through a letter to the G7 Health Ministers Chair, the Honorable Beatrice Lorenzin, MP.
“Our reliance on heavily processed foods is directly linked not only to poor health, but also to the degeneration of the environment. Recent studies estimate that adoption of more sustainable diets can substantially reduce greenhouse emissions, water usage and rates of chronic disease,” David L. Katz, MD, MPH Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and Founder of the True Health Initiative.
“While food is often seen as an individual choice, there are many ways for government, health care and education to get involved, to empower the best choices, to ensure safety for future generations and to encourage investment in viable, sustainable alternative routes to food production,” Said Dr. Simon Poole, Physician, Cambridge, UK
“When it comes to research and education in the framework of nutrition and health, we should never settle for anything less than the maximum possible effort! It’s literally a matter of life and death!” Professor Comm. Daniele Del Rio, University of Parma, Italy
The letter is intended to compel action and leverage the attention and visibility of the G7 meeting to change the face of modern preventable disease.