International trends in nutritionally-related health and their implication for health policy Academic Article uri icon


  • To establish health policy which will be relevant and effectual for a decade or more, let alone the much longer term, is a challenging task for any period of human or planetary history. Presently it is more so than ever because of major demographic, economic, technological and scientific, climatic and territorial changes and uncertainties. There are various scenarios which might be envisaged for food-health relationships before global population size is expected to stabilize by about 2050, dependent on planetary health. These will reflect achieved food intakes which for many will not be optimal but realizable and food systems with varying degrees of safety, security and sustainability. Health patterns themselves are bound to continue to change from those associated with different levels of economic development to those which have more to do with locality, climate, education and equity. Every aspect of health is in some way intertwined with food and this will become more explicit. Decisions about food-health relationships will take into account the United Nations MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), but be strongly influenced by technology, affordability, sustainability and ethics.

publication date

  • September 1, 2008