A national food and nutrition monitoring and surveillance system: a framework and a business case: final report

Masters, Greg, Coles-Rutishauser, Ingrid, Webb, Karen, Marks, Geoff and Pearse, Jim (2006) A national food and nutrition monitoring and surveillance system: a framework and a business case: final report Summer Hill, NSW; Melbourne Victoria: Nexus Management Consulting; National Public Health Partnership


Author Masters, Greg
Coles-Rutishauser, Ingrid
Webb, Karen
Marks, Geoff
Pearse, Jim
Title of report A national food and nutrition monitoring and surveillance system: a framework and a business case: final report
Publication date 2006-04
Publisher Nexus Management Consulting; National Public Health Partnership
Place of publication Summer Hill, NSW; Melbourne Victoria
Total pages 106
Language eng
Subjects 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Abstract/Summary An adequate and varied diet is important for normal growth and development, maintenance of good health and the prevention of chronic disease; as is the need for up-to-date, reliable and timely data to provide a basis for informed decision making and regulation by government. Despite this, and clear evidence for the contribution of nutrition to the considerable burden of preventable ill health, Australia’s policy makers do not have adequate information to develop cost-effective food and nutrition policy and regulation. The need for a national food and nutrition monitoring and surveillance system has long been recognised and it has been identified as a priority in several public health nutrition, obesity, physical activity and chronic disease-related policy documents. This report provides a framework and cost estimates for establishing a national food and nutrition monitoring surveillance system (FNMS). The development of the framework follows extensive consultation with a diverse range of stakeholders: Australian, State and Territory Governments, non-government organisations, professional associations and industry bodies. The framework was also informed by a review of selected international approaches to food and nutrition monitoring. Overwhelming support for an ongoing, sustainable FNMS emerged from these consultations. Government agencies, policy makers, regulators and industry representatives state that they do not have adequate information on the following: • the nutritional adequacy of the food supply; • equity of food access; • effects on health of changes in the composition of foods in the food supply; • use of nutritional supplements and their effect on nutrient intake, nutritional status and health; final report: national food and nutrition monitoring and surveillance system April 2006 5 www.nexusmc.com.au • differences in nutritional status between different population sub-groups; • alignment of food and nutrient intakes in the population with dietary targets and guidelines and nutrient reference values developed for Australia and New Zealand; • trends in eating patterns and their effect on food industry growth and innovation; • implications of technological and regulatory changes on the composition of the food supply; and • risks associated with exposure to bioactive compounds in foods at current levels of consumption. The consultation process also identified a range of significant costs and risks associated with not having an ongoing system, including: • reduced ability to appropriately develop, target and monitor the outcomes of public health nutrition interventions; • late detection of new, or accelerating, nutrition problems in the community, and the lack of trend information about the possible causes; • increasing reliance on outdated data to undertake effective risk assessment for food additives, fortification with vitamins and minerals, chemical residues etc; and • an inability to monitor the objectives of public health nutrition policies and programs. For the majority of stakeholders the costs and risks of not having a system far outweighed the costs of establishing an ongoing monitoring system. THE FRAMEWORK The framework presented in this report provides a basis for providing the information identified by stakeholders as necessary for making informed decisions about food and nutrition policy in Australia.

 
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Created: Mon, 09 Mar 2009, 16:47:32 EST by Ms Karen Naughton on behalf of School of Population Health