Towards a healthy and sustainable diet in Norway - The NOR-Eden project
Our diets and food production systems negatively influence both the global environment and public health. How can we compose a diet that is both healthy and environmental sustainable, and at the same time take into consideration local food production and food culture? This is what we are trying to answer in the NOR-Eden project.
We are working on a database on environmental indicators like CO2-equivalents, water use and land use, and will integrate it into an existing infrastructure including data on foods and nutrients. Based on knowledge about dietary habits in Norway, the infrastructure we build, and statistical modelling, we will establish the basis for food based dietary guidelines for different age groups that consider health, nutritional adequacy and sustainability. Knowledge about Norwegian food culture, agriculture, fisheries and natural resources will inform the analytic approaches. We will furthermore investigate how the proposed dietary guidelines developed in the NOR-Eden project can be implemented in Norwegian municipalities. Through dialogue with municipalities, we will explore how these guidelines can tailor and empower solutions for and transformation of the local food procurement and food served in public institutions towards a system supporting a healthy and sustainable diet.
The NOR-Eden project will add knowledge needed for transformations towards environmental sustainable food systems that produce healthy foods for everyone. The project will inform policy and public health actions and thereby facilitate the Norwegian Government?s effort to comply with their commitments to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Recent reports have highlighted that our diets and food production systems negatively influence both the global environment and public health. To our knowledge, no country has modelled food based dietary guidelines based on healthiness, nutritional adequacy, environmental sustainable indicators and prior knowledge of country specific food habits, food culture, agriculture, natural resources and consumers self-selected food choices, as we are going to do in the NOR-Eden study. Tailoring healthy and sustainable dietary guidelines towards local conditions will facilitate the implementation of the guidelines and the compliance with them.
The NOR-Eden study will be organized into three work packages (WPs) that will be interrelated. In WP 1 a software infrastructure will be built based on an already existing infrastructure (KBS). KBS consist of food and nutrient databases for all parts of the usual Norwegian diet and a calculations system. A database on environmental metrics will be compiled and integrated in the existing infrastructure.
The infrastructure from WP 1 will enable the work in WP 2, where we will establish the basis for new evidence-based food based dietary guidelines for different age groups taking health, nutritional adequacy and sustainability aspects into account. The guidelines will be developed through modelling of scenarios and optimization estimations. User involvement and knowledge about Norwegian food habits, food culture, agriculture, fisheries and natural resources will inform both analysis approaches. In WP 3 we will explore, through Science to solutions’ dialogue, how the guidelines developed in WP 2 can tailor and empower solutions for and transformation of the local food procurement and food served in public institutions towards a system supporting a healthy and sustainable diet. The dialogue will include key-persons in public food procurement from several municipalities.