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Exploring food environment interventions for diet-related outcomes using a food sovereignty framework: a systematic review.

Building local food systems through a food sovereignty lens, harnessing the right of people to control their own food systems, may enhance healthy food access and increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables in local communities. While research to date has described the outcomes of various multilevel, multicomponent food systems interventions, no known literature reviews to date have systematically examined food system interventions and dietary and health outcomes through the context of a food sovereignty lens. Utilization of a food sovereignty framework allows for the incorporation of key food systems and community-based concepts in the food environment literature. The purpose of this systematic review was to describe and summarize the efficacy of community-based local food system interventions, using the food sovereignty framework, for both pediatric and adult populations and their impact on health behaviors and physiological outcomes. We searched for peer-reviewed articles using Scopus, PubMed, PsychInfo and CINAHL databases and identified 11 articles that met the inclusion criteria for this study. Seven studies found that food systems interventions had a significant positive effect on improving health outcomes, three had null findings and one had null or negative results. Two studies utilized a community-based participatory approach. The most successful interventions involved community-based engagement involving multiple aspects of the food system and involving both children and adults for maximum impact. Our results inform how community-based food systems interventions can be guided by food sovereignty principles to improve health outcomes, such as body weight and fruit and vegetable intake, for both pediatric and adult populations.

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