60 Million People in Europe suffer from diabetes and 55% of the adult population in Europe is overweight or obese. The prevalence of NCDs is rising and two thirds of premature deaths are caused by four major NCDS (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory disease) in Europe.
The Global Burden of Disease Study indicates that dietary factors and the supply of healthy food are crucial elements to tackle rising prevalence rates, obesity and overweight. The challenge is significant as governments, communities and individuals are confronted with increased health care expenditures, reduced work force capacities and environmental burdens.
Healthy and sustainable Food Systems are part of the solution to reduce diet-related diseases and environmental burdens. Healthy and sustainable food systems will not only contribute towards better health of European citizens but will also bring benefits for our natural environments, for our economy and will improve social wellbeing of European Citizens. A systems’ approach is urgently needed.
With the conference Austria wants to facilitate a dialogue between all relevant stakeholders in the food system. The presentation and discussion of promising multi-sectorial practices in the food system will be a main focus at the conference.The conference should be one milestone on the way of transition towards a more healthy and equitable future. Lively discussions should result in propositions of concrete actions. A healthy and sustainable diet must become available, affordable, acceptable and appealing for all.
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Ilona Kickbusch, Corinna Hawkes, Harry Rutter (tbc), David Stuckler (tbc)