GreenFacts makes diet and disease info accessible

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Energy intake, Nutrition, Obesity

A report published by non-profit organisation GreenFacts is aiming
to bring scientific consensus on the role of diet and nutrition in
chronic disease prevention to a non-specialist audience.

The report, entitled "Scientific Facts on Diet and Nutrition and Chronic Diseases"​, is published online​ on three levels of depth: summary, details and source. It is a digest of the joint WHO/FAO expert consultation on diet and nutrition conducted in 2002.

Although considerable attention is paid to diet and nutrition in the mainstream media, members scientific community continually express concern that some of the science - and even the main thrust of the findings - can be lost in translation to consumer-friendly language.

Greenfacts was founded in 2001 by individuals from science and business backgrounds and environmental and health organisations, who wanted to bring about wider access to unbiased information.

The diet and nutrition report - the 25th in Greenfacts' history - sets out the main chronic diseases presenting a burden for society around the world as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and dental disease - all of which it says "are largely preventable through a healthy lifestyle involving a balanced diet and regular physical exercise"​.

Despite this, incidence of diabetes is expected to double by 2025 from the current estimate of 150m people worldwide; high rates of obesity and overweight are a phenomenon throughout the world; cancer is becoming a growing problem due to the ageing population; and the number of hip fractures due to osteoporosis is expected to rise from approximately 1.66m per year;

The number of people living with dental disease is also expected to increase, even though incident of dental caries has decreased over the last 30 years. This is because people are living longer.

Although some countries issue their own dietary guidelines, the WHO/FAO joint consultation provided some basic guidelines of its own for an average balanced diet at population level:

"Total fat intake should represent 15 to 30 per cent of total dietary energy intake;"Free sugars, such as those found in soft drinks and many processed foods, should account for less than ten per cent of total energy intake;"At least 400g of fruit and vegetables per day should be part of the diet."

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