This year the EU Farm to Fork 2020 conference coincides with World Food Day. This presents a unique opportunity to promote healthy living within Europe. All EU citizens, including people living with diabetes, deserve to have equal and affordable access to healthy and nutritious foods.
The EU Farm to Fork strategy aims to create a ‘fair, healthy, and environmentally friendly food system in Europe’. On day 1 of the conference Stella Kryriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety highlighted the link between non-communicable diseases and access to healthy food choices. The strategy has the potential to benefit society by creating a health-enabling environment that allows consumers to make healthier food choices, while not having to compromise on price or environmental impact. As was pointed out during the conference, the switch to sustainable and nutritious food consumption cannot rely solely on the individual choices of individual people – regulatory and systematic frameworks must be integrated into the Farm to Fork strategy to make the healthy and sustainable option the obvious option for consumers. IDF Europe welcomes this focus on health promotion to support healthy choices.
Health must be viewed holistically. The link between healthy people, healthy societies, and a healthy planet is recognised by the Farm to Fork strategy. The benefits of switching to a more sustainable food system in Europe has the potential to go much further than promoting healthy living, but to have a profound financial and social impact on our society.
It will have important consequences for people living with non-communicable diseases, including diabetes. Diabetes is a complex condition linked to many modifiable risk factors which include obesity, unhealthy diets, and hypertension. A healthy diet is imperative to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and diabetes complications. However, equal access to healthy, affordable, and sustainable food options for every person across the continent is not always guaranteed. Addressing these inequalities will be an important part of the Farm to Fork strategy and this years’ World Food Day.