NRP 69 shares knowledge with health professionals

A winegrower empties a basket of grapes during the grape harvest.

At a symposium of the umbrella organisation of health professionals, Public Health Schweiz, several research groups of NRP 69 presented their results.

During the winter months 2018/2019, the last projects of the second phase of the National Research Programme "Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production" (NRP 69) completed their work. This marks the end of the five-year research phase. The focus has now shifted to results, and knowledge transfer activities are intensifying.

In March 2019, the umbrella organisation of Swiss health professionals, Public Health Schweiz, organised a symposium on sustainable and healthy nutrition. Four NRP 69 researchers presented their results. Their presentations were complemented by contributions about ongoing projects that promote healthy and sustainable eating as part of daily life. Around 50 experts from public authorities, health-promoting associations, hospitals and the food industry took part in the event.

Practice-oriented results

The symposium focused on practical approaches promoting healthy eating in society. First up was Pedro Marques-Vidal, who presented the results of his study on how social factors impact eating. He highlighted that people who are socio-economically disadvantaged eat less healthily. This finding could partly explain why chronic illnesses are more common among those social classes.

Subsequently, Claude Messner explained why knowledge alone is not enough to make healthy-eating decisions. Eating is influenced by social motives, pleasure and habits. In his study, he showed that visual stimuli in our surroundings, such as images of sporting activities, can encourage healthy-eating decisions.

Tipping points for healthy and sustainable eating

Laurence Godin presented the results of her second-phase project, which focused on tipping points for healthy and sustainable eating. The research suggests that defining practice-oriented political targets could be a potential solution. In addition, the eating habits of people should be taken into account more, for example by improving access to healthy and sustainable food options in canteens, cafeterias and train stations.

Finally, Fritz Sager outlined what is needed for scientific results to be integrated into policies. He highlighted the importance of public administration in fostering evidence-based policy decisions.

NRP 69 synthesis report expected towards the end of 2019

Knowledge transfer has moved into the focus now that the research phase is over. Towards the end of 2019, the synthesis report of NRP 69 will present overall recommendations for stakeholders in politics, administration, industry and the health sector.