- The new healthy and sustainable food guidelines also seek to promote care for the environment.
- They recommend dietary patterns that are low in environmental impact, accessible, affordable, safe, equitable, and culturally acceptable.
- The Mexican population presents inappropriate patterns of consumption and physical activity.
The Mexican population presents inadequate eating patterns, characterized by a low prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding, little consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. In the same way, a deficient physical activity also prevails and for this reason it is necessary update dietary guidelinesaffirmed the director of Nutrition Policies and Programs of the National Institute of Public Health (INSP), Anabelle Bonvecchio Arenas.
During the symposium “Updating healthy and sustainable food guidelines for the Mexican population”, at the INSP, he indicated that there is a high consumption of infant formula, ultra-processed foods, sugary drinks, refined cereals and an increase in sedentary lifestyles in front of the screen.
He explained that the Mexican population must move towards healthy and sustainable eating models, that is, dietary patterns that promote the health and well-being of people; they have low pressure and environmental impact, are accessible, affordable, safe, equitable and culturally acceptable.
Food recommendations to be adopted
Bonvecchio Arenas said that healthy dietary patterns begin with exclusive breastfeeding from birth to six months of age. While a diet based on foods of plant origin must prevail throughout life.
In the symposium that was held as part of the 19th Public Health Research Congress (CONGISP), he highlighted that the INSP develops a project of healthy and sustainable food guides with specific recommendations according to the context in which people live. A committee of experts from more than 10 institutions participates in this project.
This will allow governments to delineate healthy and sustainable diets based on scientific evidence, multidisciplinary and multisectoral participation and a food systems approach. In addition, align policies and programs to these indications related to food and physical activity.
He explained that the guides are made up of recommendations that involve products, as well as resources that contribute to changing the food system towards better practices related to diet, health, nutrition and sustainability.
He added that the guidelines are part of the new food system promoted by the federal government. integrates a gender approach and equal rights, especially for vulnerable groups. It also contemplates the environmental impact, its affordability, consumption patterns of the population, sociocultural influences of food and cultural belonging, as well as physical activity and a section with adaptations for girls, boys and pregnant women, as well as recommendations on responsible alcohol consumption. .
The head of the Department of Food, Culture and Environment of INSP, Sonia Rodríguez Ramírez, explained that the Food guides also offer recommendations to the population on the amount of food or food groups necessary to cover energy and nutrient requirements to maintain health.
The methodology for developing estimates of the amounts of these food groups may differ between countries. However, they share basic guidelines such as estimates for different food groups, age, sex, and physiological state.
The head of the Department of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Nutrition of the INSP, Mishel Unar Munguía, highlighted that the current food system contributes to climate change and the degradation of the planet, and is part of the determinants of global syndemy of malnutrition and obesity.
All effects of consumption of ultra-processed products
He indicated that the current food system contributes to the loss of biodiversity and excessive use of water. Likewise, the production and consumption of food worldwide generates a third of the greenhouse gas emissions that have a negative impact on climate change.
He explained that the Ultra-processed products also promote environmental deteriorationsince they are based on monocultures, high processing and generate waste derived from packaging, among other aspects.
In Mexico, data from the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) indicate that food production contributes 12 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 60 percent of these emissions come from beef.
He explained that the analysis of the environmental impact estimate, comparative between the current food system and the new one that is proposed, with healthy and sustainable diets, is based on primary and secondary data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (Ensanut) on the More than 150 most consumed foods and beverages among the Mexican population.
At the forum, the Nutrition Officer in the Nutrition and Food Systems Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Ana de Lourdes Islas Ramos, announced that, in the world, one in every three people have poor nutrition.
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