The economy, natural and built environments, and the communities within which we live all contribute to our individual and collective health. Food systems are integrally related to these health-influencing factors. As such, by becoming familiar with food systems one can better act intersectorially to promote healthy public policies.
There are diverse economic, environmental and social factors which influence our access to healthy food. As well, there are numerous factors that influence individuals' ability to make healthy food choices. The ways in which food is grown, transported, distributed, marketed, consumed, understood, etc. have implications for the health of communities and individuals.
Promoting and developing healthy food policies can be seen as a way to reduce inequalities as well as a way to improve food security. Achieving these goals calls for the active participation of numerous sectors related to the food system, including agriculture, the environment, transportation, public health, community organizations, and others.
The first document that the Centre has produced on food policy and health introduces food policy councils. This briefing note, by Wendy Mendes of the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia (UBC), sets out to introduce public health professionals to issues related to food systems and to how food policy councils can influence healthy public policies. To read more about food policy councils, click here
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