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Sustainable Diets

The concept of sustainable diets, that is the connection between a healthy diet and a healthy planet, has become an imperative for addressing many on-going efforts and processes. Sustainable diets provides the entry point to clarify the importance of nutrition in sustainability efforts undertaken by many sectors, the most important of which are agriculture, environment and health. It is worth noting that the 1991 IUNS conference in Adelaide, Australia, had the theme, “Nutrition in a Sustainable Environment.” Subsequently, the IUNS paid little attention to the issue in its conferences and Task Forces (although the INFOODS TF did use environmental sustainability, sustainable diets, and biodiversity as themes in its International Food Data Conferences). An IUNS Task Force on sustainable diets will help bring about awareness and advocacy for the need to simultaneously address nutrition and environmental issues in ongoing processes including the Sustainable Development Goals, the Decade of Action on Nutrition, the Right to Food, the Decade of Biodiversity, the Aichi Targets, SIDS[1] Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, the 10 Year Framework of Programs on Sustainable Consumption and Production, and more. A formal infrastructure provided by an IUNS Task Force will facilitate communication and coherence among the nutrition science community in their research, teaching and interactions; and between different sectors/disciplines where nutrition could/should be integrated into environmental sustainability issues.

[1] SIDS = Small Island Developing States

Objectives of the Task Force:

  • To contribute to the development and standardisation of nutrition indicators and methodologies for characterising and promoting sustainable diets;
  • To provide a communication forum for multisectoral and multidisciplinary activities, including interactions with other relevant IUNS Task Forces;
  • To provide stable framework for the on-going organisation of the International Scientific Symposia on sustainable diets, and inclusion of sustainable diets sessions in other scientific conferences/symposia, including IUNS ICN and its regional conferences.

Active Task Force Members and Affiliations:

Sandro Dernini, Forum on Mediterranean Food Cultures, Italy
Kunchit Judprasong, Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University, Thailand
Mark Lawrence, Deakin University, Australia
Jennie Macdiarmid, University of Aberdeen, Scotland
Farah Naja, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Penina Vatucawaqa, National Food and Nutrition Centre, Fiji
Lesley Macheka, Marondera University of Agriculture, Zimbabwe

Ex officio: Harriet Kuhnlein, ex-Chair of Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems TF

IUNS Representative: Professor Barbara Burlingame