My colleague Connie Atkinson and I have worked with Daniela Johnson and Ngaire Rae from Manaia PHO to develop a discussion document Growing Vegetable and Fruit Consumption in Northland. The document is prompted by the need to reverse the rising tide of diet-related interest. It is also motivated by the desire to support local fruit and vegetable producers and to encourage community or neighbourhood initiatives.
This post is established to enable online discussion about the document.
Here is the executive summary.
This is a discussion document that attempts to describe the parameters influencing the dietary habits that underpin increasing rates of overweight and obesity. Part one scopes the problem while part two attempts to outline strategies that might increase the consumption of vegetables and fruit.
The contribution of applied research to the Northland context is then explored, including tools to inform a broad appreciation of the complex factors that entrench poor dietary habits, and the countervailing factors that might be marshalled to reverse these trends.
These recommendations are offered.
- Form a research coalition to select, secure funding and execute one or more projects most likely to grow the consumption of vegetables and fruit in Northland.
- Investigate options to support more equitable and effective distribution systems.
Any system to improve distribution must have the two goals of enhancing health and supporting local growers as core purpose.
- Create a wider forum to develop a collaborative approach to develop and implement strategies to grow vegetable and fruit consumption.
It will take more than Government funded interventions to change dietary habits – requiring the engagement of communities, philanthropic organisations and other relevant stakeholders, such as vegetable growers.
The document will be published by the end of October. A copy will be available here.