new nutrition strategy

On lines with the current research and recommendations related to healthy diet, the German federal government has charted out a new nutrition strategy. This advises more plant based foods and lesser consumption of high saturated fats, salt, and sugar foods. What is the public reaction on it?

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German new nutrition strategy

Recently, the German federal government unveiled details of its new nutrition strategy. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture or BMEL described the cornerstones of its food strategy on which the whole diet and health rests. The Federal minister, Cem Ozdemir revealed that the policy makers faced a lot of challenges while deciding on the nutrition policy. He added:

“A good two-thirds of men, around half of women and almost every sixth child in Germany are overweight.”

new nutrition strategy
BMEL (Source: BMEL)

Government data reveals that in the age group of 3 to 17 years, nearly 16% of the kids are overweight and 6% are obese. Several studies also showed that unbalanced diet eating and lack of mobility and exercise during covid-19 pandemic and its lockdown led to a tremendous rise in childhood obesity.

BMEL wants to ensure that each and everyone in Germany lead a healthy life by eating a healthy diet that is also sustainable. Hence, it wants to transform the food system and retilt it back to the healthier side. Cem added that the government wants to eliminate health inequalities caused due to nutrition deficit. And this is due to unequal socio economic situation.

What Cem explained?

Cem elaborated:

“I don’t want to tell people what to eat
I want to make sure that it is pos for everyone in Germany to eat well and healthily-regardless of income, education or origin.”

Further, he said:

Our strategy should focus particularly on children, people from households at risk of poverty and people with an immigrant background. It’s about opportunities. It’s about better opportunities for everyone.”

new nutrition strategy
The new nutrition strategy of BMEL gets a mixed response (Source: Food navigator)

Cem plans to introduce nutrition standards in schools hospitals, and canteens. He wants people to have the best nutrition with healthier options. He went on to say:

After all, those who experience how good fruit, vegetables or legumes taste may be less likely to reach for the Germans’ most popular canteen food, the currywurst with fries. This protects your own health, the environment and the climate.”

The central goal of the policy is to transit gradually towards a more plant based diet. And to reduce the concentration of saturated fats, salt, and sugar in processed foods. It also aims to cut down on food waste and switch eating into a healthy and sustainable habit. Stress should be on local, seasonal and eco-friendly food produce.

Response of public

The response of industry food manufacturers and public has been mixed. The German farmers’ association, DBV, has responded that the strategy has its plus and minuses. The association feels that it is good that the government wants people to eat healthy, have a healthy lifestyle, do exercise and get awareness about healthy foods. But it feels that there is discrimination against certain foods and the emphasis on plant foods is not desirable. They are opposed to government campaigns against animal foods.

new nutrition strategy
BMEL is for healthy eating (Source: BMEL)

German consumer advocates Food watch had critical opposition of this policy. It said that they are empty words with no effective measures. They have added that it is a PR gimmick.

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BMEL expects to be able to get the federal government’s approval of the nutrition strategy by end of 2023. But Foodwatch’s Chris Methmann feels that this deadline is too near and there will be no action on it. He believes that it would need another 7 years to come into action. But he also is in agreement on the censoring of TV adverts that target young minds.