Canada’s International Development Research Centre has awarded a new grant to 1) incorporate sustainability indicators into the INFORMAS modules for measuring food environments, and 2) include municipal/city-level indicators in addition to monitoring national governments. These will be piloted in several West and East African and Latin American countries.

The Global Syndemic of obesity, climate change, and undernutrition

This grant comes in the wake of the 2019 publication of the Lancet Commission Report on the Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition, and Climate Change, highlighting the synergies between the simultaneous global challenges of unhealthy food systems and climate change, and recommending double- and triple-duty actions to address these mutually reinforcing issues. The report sparked widespread discussion regarding future directions to prevent obesity within the context of the Global Syndemic.

An INFORMAS Food Sustainability Advisory Team will be created to support the module teams to include sustainability indicators into existing protocols and tools. These will measure the health and sustainability credentials of food-related actions of governments (both national and municipal/city governments) and food companies and the consequent healthiness and sustainability of several aspects of food environments (e.g. cost, supply, labelling, food in schools, food retail). This project will test the developed sustainability indicators for 3 monitoring modules: public sector policy implementation (Food-EPI tool – national and local governments), private sector action (BIA-obesity tool), and cost of diets (Dietcost tool) in African and Latin American countries and update protocols, training and networks for further implementation.

Stefanie Vandevijvere (Sceinsano, Belgium) is the Principal Investigator on the grant, joined by Boyd Swinburn (University of Auckland, NZ), Gary Sacks (Deakin University, Austraia), Sally Mackay (University of Auckland, NZ), Carolina Batis and Mishel Unar Munguia (INSP, Mexico), Rafael Moreira Claro (Minas Gerais Federal University, Brazil), Ana-Paula Bortoletto (IDEC, Brazil), Luciana Castronuovo (FIC Argentina), Gershim Asiki (APHRC, Kenya), and Adama Diouf (UCAD, Senegal).