Health through food

Everyone must have access, on the one hand, to safe, diversified, sufficient food, of good taste and nutritional quality, resulting from sustainable agriculture and, on the other hand, to an environment that facilitates healthy food choices and the daily practice of physical activity while limiting sedentary behaviour

While recent studies show that overweight and obesity in both adults and children have stabilized, this stabilization occurs at a level that, although less bad compared to many other European countries, remains too high. Thus, nearly half of adults and 17% of children are overweight or obese in France today, with social inequalities still very marked. Other indicators are not developing favourably. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to grow; Physical activity tends to decrease, especially among women and children, and remains very inadequate. Sedentary behaviour has risen sharply over the past decade. Salt consumption, after declining in the early 2000s, is stagnating at far too high a level, sugar consumption is too high while fruit and vegetable consumption and fiber is far too low.

The expectations of our fellow citizens are therefore high for a better nutritional quality of food. But beyond that, the consumer is also looking for local, seasonal or quality productions, greater transparency. It is therefore a question of promoting food anchored in the territories in connection with a resilient agriculture turned towards the agro-ecological transition. This approach requires a coherent approach to public action to put into perspective all the issues related to our food, relying on all the actors and stakeholders within the food chain. Many actions will be undertaken and pursued to change the food offer, fight against precariousness and food waste, promote the relocation of our food through the implementation of short and local circuits, but also strengthen food education and promote our exceptional culinary heritage.



Key measures

1. Promote the new nutritional benchmarks: allow all French people to know the right food reflexes for their health by updating, from 2019, the eat-move site and the menu factory to facilitate the implementation by all of the new dietary recommendations, physical activity and sedentary lifestyle.

2. Increase fiber, reduce the quantities of salt, sugars, fats in foods for everyday consumption by a firm commitment of economic actors from 2020 and promote the Nutri-Score, in order to improve the nutritional quality of all processed foods by promoting voluntary approaches by professionals.

3. Reduce salt intake by 30% by 2025 (France commitment to WHO). For bread, which represents around 25% of the daily salt intake of the French, a reflection will be initiated in 2019 with professionals to determine the target rate and the action to be taken to achieve it.

4. Protect children and young people from exposure to advertising of non-recommended foods and drinks : encourage the establishment of codes of conduct based on the new provisions of the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

5. Allow everyone to benefit from quality collective catering in complete transparency: ensure the upgrading of collective catering by sourcing 50% organic, sustainable and quality products by 2022 and
promote the Nutri-Score in this sector.

6. Organize from 2020 the national day “Behind the scenes of food” on the model of Heritage Days where food professionals will offer a wide choice of educational and discovery events to the public (open days, tastings, visits to training centers, organization of conferences and debates).

7. Extend food education from kindergarten to high school : educational tools for food education will be made available in 2019 to cover all ages such as a vade-mecum and an educational toolkit on the “food” portal of the Eduscol website and deployment of taste classes.

8. Ensure the nutrition of our elders : prevent undernutrition by raising awareness among the general public and health and social sector professionals by setting up an annual “national undernutrition week”.

9. Promote and share at the national level innovative local actions, sources of creativity : in each department, by 2023, these initiatives will be promoted within the framework of territorial food projects (PAT), charters “communities and active companies of the PNNS” and an annual symposium will be organized.

10. Extend the obligation to donate unsold food to collective catering and manufacturers and promote donations by agricultural sectors: from 2019, collective catering and agri-food industries will be actors in the fight against food waste and will be led to organize food donations to associations.

11. Ensure the quality and reliability of digital applications informing consumers in their food choices : by 2020, define, in consultation with stakeholders within the framework of the National Consumer Council (CNC), the conditions to guarantee consumers access to relevant and fair information when using these applications.

The food and nutrition programme will benefit from a budget of nearly €40 million. Of this total, the €35 million annual European funding will primarily finance the upgrading of products intended for collective / school catering. Other funding will target priority actions of the food-nutrition programme, including the deployment of territorial food projects.

The actions will be mainly carried out by the Ministry of Solidarity and Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food; Other ministries are involved in their implementation.

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