October 2020

WWF Switzerland launches a science-based platform to encourage diets that are good for people and planet

In a new report, WWF presents a comprehensive scientific assessment of how dietary shifts in 147 countries can bend the curve on the negative impacts of the food system, moving from exploiting to restoring nature.

About the WWF Report

In 2021, which is the mid-term of the United Nations (UN) Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025), a UN Food Systems Summit will be convened to raise global awareness and land global commitments to transform our food systems. Our food systems need to deliver healthy, safe, and affordable diets for everyone, everywhere and at all times, but currently they are not doing so. As a global community, we committed to end malnutrition in all its forms (SDG2), reduce noncommunicable diseases (SDG3) and ensure that our food production and consumption becomes environmentally sustainable (SDG12), but we are not on a path to achieve those goals and targets. We depend on healthy ecosystems and healthy people to produce our food, yet at present our food systems make us and our planet sick.

Changing our food systems to become sustainable and resilient is a powerful and smart way to realize progress towards achieving many, if not all, SDGs. As this report so clearly shows: what food we produce matters, how we produce it matters, and what we eat matters. Currently, our food production and dietary choices are impacting our health and our environment in downward and interlinked spirals of increasing malnutrition, diet-related and foodborne diseases, biodiversity loss, climate change and destruction of
ecosystems. This gloomy picture changes for different geographies but it nevertheless is a gloomy picture everywhere.

This is a complex challenge, but as the report Bending the Curve: The Restorative Power of Planet-Based Diets so well points out, the linkage of diets and environment also offers an immense opportunity for all of us. Shifting our diets can indeed unlock a multitude of environmental and health benefits and push us towards a virtuous uplifting spiral towards nourishing ourselves within planetary boundaries. We can turn around the lose-lose into a win-win.

This report is relevant, timely and extremely useful as it demonstrates the health and environmental impacts of our current consumption patterns by geography and it shows the potential of dietary shifts towards planet-based diets in a very concrete way for countries. In addition, this report also includes policy recommendations for national and multilateral level decision-makers.

Governments have a central role to reshape food systems by conducting an orchestra of multiple players that need to play the same tune. Health Authorities have a key role to define national dietary guidelines and outline the objectives of food system transformation jointly with the leaders of the agricultural, industry and trade sectors. The World Health Organization is committed to support countries in realizing this.
Bending the Curve: The Restorative Power of Planet-Based Diets is a significant contribution to the Decade of Action on Nutrition and to the forthcoming UN Food Systems Summit.

About WWF Food Practice
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most experienced independent conservation organizations, with
over 30 million followers and a global network active in nearly 100 counties. Alongside work in areas
like wildlife, oceans and forests, the WWF Food Practice works to transform the food system as, in
its current form, it is the single biggest threat to nature. Our vision is a food system which provides
nutritious food to all current and future generations while protecting our planet. To help achieve this
goal, we work across three pillars of the food system: Sustainable Production, Healthy and Sustainable
Diets and Food Loss and Waste.

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