Course Details - Food Systems for Healthier and Sustainable Diets

The global challenge at the moment is not only how to feed the growing population, but also how to provide a nutritious diet for active and healthy living in a society under lock down to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus. This nutritious diet should not only respond to the current and future health challenges but should also be sustained for generations.

Achieving this goal requires a radical transformation of the global food system. This course explores transforming food systems from a dietary perspective and discuss which components are related to the diet gaps for different populations groups at national, regional and global level. It discusses possible actions to be taken to transform the food system to sustainably address the societal and health challenges and move from just supplying sufficient food to providing sufficient high quality diets for all.

Food systems

Food systems considers all the actors, elements and activities that relate to primary producing, processing, distributing, preparing and consuming food and waste disposal; and the socio-economic and environmental outcomes of these activities (HLPE, 2014).

Central in this course is the dietary perspective and which components are related to the diet gaps for different populations groups at national, regional and global level, with a focus on low and middle-income countries. The conceptual framework below, presented in HLPE report 12, the ultimate goal is to achieve sustainable and healthy diets and this framework is central in the course to explore the three core components of food systems: the food supply chains, the food environment and consumer behaviour and their relationship to the dietary gaps.

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For each of the components the course investigates the role and interaction of the component in the food system, the role of the actors involved and the influences of the drivers; it discusses the possible actions to be taken to transform the food system to address the identified dietary gaps and how these actions can be leveraged in a sustainable way.

Develop insights & work on your cases

The course is job-oriented and the training approach is interactive, experience as well as evidence-based: it gives the participants the opportunity to learn from expert facilitators as well as from each other. Transfer of knowledge goes hand in hand with case studies, working groups, etc. A mix of participants with different backgrounds, yet common interests, will provide a good basis for the exchange of experiences.

At the end of the course you will:

  • Understand the concepts of food systems, healthy diets and sustainability and their interconnection;
  • be able to apply food system innovations in designing strategies, and interventions for healthier and sustainable diets;
  • be able to evaluate food systems innovations for healthier and sustainable diets for policy and decision making;
  • be able to work in teams with people from different backgrounds and nationalities;
  • be able to implement reflective learning at personal and group level.

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