Building healthier, more equitable and sustainable food systems for Australia
Unhealthy diet is the leading preventable risk factor contributing to the burden of disease. This research found it is possible to influence nutrition policy more effectively, and ensure governments implement evidence-based actions in the face of competing interests.
- Current food environments and policies do not support healthy eating despite strong evidence that healthy diets prevent the advent of chronic disease.
- We assessed current food environments in participating jurisdictions; examined how implementing priority policy actions could be better supported and by which actors; and collaborated with key stakeholders to develop, implement, and evaluate specific demonstration projects.
- We developed Australia’s first Food Environment Dashboard that provides the best available data on all aspects of Australia’s food environments for those interested in understanding ways to improve population diets and to inform policy makers at all levels of government.
- We produced evidence demonstrating that healthy, environmentally sustainable diets can be less expensive than the current Australian diet, although they are still unaffordable for low-income groups, particularly for those living in remote areas of Australia.
- We modified existing protocols for assessing diet costs and affordability for use with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and low socioeconomic groups.
- We outlined several ways to ensure that governments are well placed to implement policies to support improved population diets.
- This research provides policy makers, key actors and the public with evidence-based nutrition policy actions that could facilitate Australia’s transition to nutritious, equitable and sustainable food systems.