Informing food policy: balancing the evidence

M Gill, K Johnston
Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 2010, 69 (4): 621-7
The paper considers some of the reasons why governments develop food policies, gives examples of what is in food policies at the Scottish and UK levels and explores ways of effectively providing balanced evidence for policy development. It discusses the challenges of exchanging knowledge between the science and policy communities, given their different languages and cultures, highlighting the need for greater mutual understanding of roles and responsibilities. It draws on experience in the Scottish Government of developing the government's 'Recipe for Success - Scotland's National Food and Drink Policy' through engagement with stakeholders, scientists and analysts and touches on the more complex nature of the Department for International Development's contribution to meeting the first Millennium Development Goal. It compares the need for collation and analysis of existing evidence during the development of policy, with the desirability of providing policy direction for longer-term strategic research and the challenges of connecting the policy expectations with researchable questions. The paper concludes by emphasising the need to focus research in the short-term on mitigation of climate change through decreasing greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of food, while also taking an account of economic, health and broader environmental sustainability objectives. A further challenge is to communicate complexity and uncertainty in ways which enable decision-makers from the consumer to policy-makers to make informed choices. Longer-term research needs to focus on the opportunities and risks associated with adapting to climate change.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"