BMC Medicine is calling for submissions to our Collection on food environments and their impact on public health.
Nearly 70% of all deaths worldwide are attributed to non-communicable diseases, which are closely linked to diet and lifestyle. It is estimated that more than 41 million children under the age of five and 1.9 billion adults suffer from obesity, which is now increasingly a problem in low- and middle-income countries. Additionally, in 2022, globally, 148.1 million children under the age of 5 years of age were classified as stunted, and 45 million as wasted. Given these statistics, it is crucial to deepen our understanding of the food environments that people must navigate daily.
This Collection seeks to highlight the physical, economic, social, and cultural contexts in which individuals make choices about what to eat, including the availability of healthy and unhealthy foods, the influence of marketing and advertising, as well as the impact of policies and regulations related to food production and distribution. By deepening our understanding of food environments’ impacts on dietary choices and health outcomes, we seek to support SDG 2's mission of achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture.
We invite contributions that explore topics including, but not limited to, the following:
- Nutritional epidemiology and food consumption patterns: Evaluate the influence of cultural, socioeconomic, and geographic factors on dietary habits and their impact on health and inequalities.
- Food accessibility and security: Explore the impact of food deserts and food swamps on communities, as well as the role of policy, supply chains, migration, rural land use changes, and urban planning in shaping food environments. Document who is at risk of food insecurity, where, and with what social and biological consequences.
- Food marketing and its effects: Analyze the impact of food advertising, especially on children and vulnerable populations, and identify potential regulatory and behavioral interventions to mitigate the adverse effects of marketing.
- Food sustainability and health: Examine the environmental and health implications of food consumption, production, and distribution and assess the feasibility and impact of sustainable diets. Additionally, explore the impact of climate change on food environments, including food security, availability, affordability, and quality.
- Interventions and policy initiatives: Evaluate the effectiveness of various strategies, such as behavioral interventions, social policies, trade and agricultural policies, taxation, and labeling, in improving food environments and reducing food insecurity.
- Food technology and innovation: Explore the impact of food processing, fortification, and new technologies on nutrition and health.
- Behavioral science approaches for better diets: Examine decision-making, food preferences, and interventions designed to promote healthier choices based on environmental cues and individual perceptions.
- Systems science approaches to better nutrition: Analyze the interconnected components of food systems, helping identify how changes in one part affect the whole, offering insights for systemic interventions that can improve nutrition.
- The role of the built environment on nutrition and health: Explore the built environment's impact on nutrition and health, including food accessibility and physical surroundings.
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