Everyone should be able to afford healthy and nutritious foodActions 4 Change
We want healthy food to be affordable, even to those in extreme poverty. We want governments to monitor prices of fruits and vegetables, create policy environments that incentivize businesses to invest in nutrition, and implement tougher taxes on food that is bad for us, such as added sugar.
Why does this Action 4 Change matter?
We need a food system where food supply is secure and everyone has access to a healthy diet, so we don’t have to worry about whether we can find and afford good quality, nutritious food.
Currently, only in Asia and in some wealthy countries do people have access to enough fruit and vegetables. In some areas of the world, a healthy diet costs more than twice the global average. As a result, one in nine people globally find themselves running out of food or going for days without eating because they can’t afford or access food. This is particularly damaging for children who cannot grow, develop, or concentrate in school without a nourishing diet.
When healthy diets are expensive, many vulnerable people miss out on essential nutrition. The quality of their diets and their eating habits are disrupted, which affects their wellbeing. Politicians, farmers and food businesses must work together to ensure that healthy diets are affordable and accessible, and that the cost of nutritious food is reduced.
Youth in Action:
Dipty Chowdhury is an 18-year-old youth leader from Bangladesh who has been advocating for the well-being and access to healthy and nutritious food of adolescents in her country since the age of 14. Dipty chose to take action when her and her peers noticed there were no healthy lunch options at their cafeteria that they could afford with their pocket money. Dipty was outraged by the lack of affordable healthy choices and decided she needed to do something about it.
With the coordination of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Dipty and her friends supported a pledge calling for food producers to produce healthier food at an affordable price and for policy makers to put in place policies to improve adolescent health. The pledge was called Bhalo Khabo Bhalo Thakbo “Eat Well Live Well” a clear message to motivate young people to make good food choices and to commit to eating good food. Pledges were collected online via social media with the support of local influencers as well as at multiple schools across the country. To Dipty’s surprise, in two years this pledge received more than 1 million signatures and has been a driving force for change in Bangeladesh. Since the pledge started the Bangladeshi government has created a National Adolescent Health Strategy 2017-2030 and is budgeting for a national plan of action with nutrition as a key pillar. Dipty has continued to take action by joining Act4Food Act4Change and continues to advocate for healthy and nutritious food choices. Dipty is a strong believer in the power of youth to be drivers for change.
Coming from a developing country, I know the need to strike the right balance between eating healthy diets and how much one can afford them, between the choice I make and the money I have. I want to see nutritious food as a basic right instead of just junk foodDipty Chowdhury