The Government Healthy Food Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI)

INFORMAS developed a Government Healthy Food Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI), comprising a ‘policy’ component with 7 domains (food composition, labelling, promotion, provision, retail, affordability, trade) to create healthy food environments, and an ‘infrastructure support’ component with 6 domains (governance, leadership, monitoring, funding and resources, interaction platforms, health-in-all-policies) to strengthen prevention systems.

INFORMAS is currently looking for international best practice exemplars in each of those 13 domains. Some of those are also relevant for the WCRF International Food Policy Framework for Healthy Diets: NOURISHING. These benchmarks are important as the Food-EPI aims to assess the extent of government policy implementation against best practice. Non-exhaustive examples of the benchmarks sought include:

  • Government spending on population nutrition promotion (FUNDING domain)
  • Government funding for research targeted at obesity and NCD prevention (FUNDING domain)
  • Monitoring systems for food composition, food provision, food promotion, food consumption, overweight/obesity/NCDs (MONITORING domain)
  • Evidence-informed food-based dietary guidelines (LEADERSHIP domain)
  • Population targets to reduce intake of unhealthy nutrients of concern (sodium, trans fatty acids, saturated fatty acids) (LEADERSHIP domain)
  • Strong visible political support for improving population nutrition (LEADERSHIP domain)
  • Proactive measures to manage investment and protect regulatory capacity with respect to public health nutrition (TRADE domain)
  • Subsidies on foods (e.g. research and development, infrastructure support) are for healthy rather than unhealthy foods (PRICES domain)

If you wish or think you can contribute to this, please contact Stefanie Vandevijvere for more details on the specific benchmarks sought. The full list will be added on the INFORMAS website in due course.

Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere

Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere

Research fellow in food policy

Research fellow in food policy
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
School of Population Health
University of Auckland

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