Developing WHO guidelines on school food and nutrition policies

Healthy diet during childhood and adolescence is key to ensuring optimal growth, health and well-being during childhood. Healthy diets also have long-term impact, such as preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in later life, as well as inter-generational impacts through ensuring optimal nutrition for mothers, particularly those who are adolescent girls.

Schools offer many opportunities to engage children, parents, teachers and community members in promoting healthy diets, and preventing children's malnutrition in all its forms including undernutrition, obesity and diet-related NCDs.

WHO works to provide evidence-informed guidance on effective policy measures to support Member States develop enabling food environments that promote healthy diets and nutrition. One recent action taken by WHO has been developing guidelines for school food and nutrition policies, and convening a WHO Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) Subgroup on Policy Actions to inform this work.

In March 2021, the most recent NUGAG meeting was held, reviewing the outcomes of a systematic review on the effects of policies or interventions that influence the school food environment. The meeting also discussed contextual factors that underpin school food and nutrition, such as health equity, acceptability and feasibility.

You can learn more about NUGAG, recent meetings, and WHO's work on school food policies below!

For further information on this, contact Katrin Engelhardt (WHO)

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