Expert comment - Food system reform needed to protect NHS, improve health and save our environment15 July 2021 London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine https://lshtm.ac.uk/themes/custom/lshtm/images/lshtm-logo-black.png
Recommendations in the independent report, commissioned by the Government in 2019, include a landmark Sugar and Salt Reformulations Tax, expansion of Free School meals, and a major overhaul of food education. They say COVID-19 is a 'painful reality check' but is an opportunity to rethink our diets and food production.
A team from LSHTM contributed analyses to the report, and provided funds for the youth engagement work through a Wellcome Trust grant. They include Alan Dangour, Professor of Food and Nutrition for Global Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Professor Dangour said: “This important report should serve as a blueprint for other countries seeking to deliver sustainable and healthy food systems. By directly linking the environment, food systems and health, this report addresses a fundamental and critical concern for humans living on earth; ensuring everyone has access to a healthy diet while protecting the planet.
"Various government departments across the world have raised this question, but few have taken strong enough action. We will only adequately tackle health and environmental issues if we combine the relevant sectors and transform the way we operate.
"Many of the recommendations in the report are bold and will stimulate debate. While others are obvious and necessary if we want to live in a country that cares for people in the wider society and actively protects the natural environment.
"The UK Government must now step up and fulfil its duty to protect people and reinvent a food system that is conducive for long-lasting health and environmental stability.”
There cannot be any complacency as to the need for global action.
With your help, we can plug critical gaps in the understanding of COVID-19. This will support global response efforts and help to save lives around the world.