Access to nutrition index 2018
This report (PDF) by the Access to Nutrition Foundation published the Access To Nutrition Index to track the contribution food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers make to delivering better diets worldwide. Many companies have stepped up their efforts to contribute to better diets over the last two years. On the other hand, companies have only set product reformulation targets for half of the product categories assessed and poorly define these targets. Recommended is that the boards of the world’s largest F&B companies should take more responsibility for spearheading a strategic response to delivering better nutrition through their global businesses. More companies now commit to address undernutrition, especially through their core businesses as well as other initiatives. However, most companies’ strategies to address undernutrition are not well structure or informed by input from independent experts. Recommended for companies is to adopt a structured commercial approach to addressing undernutrition in priority developing countries. Of the products assessed, less then 1/3 are considered healthy. Most companies their definitions for ‘healthy’ appear less strict than that of the independent system used. The world’s six largest baby food companies continue to market breast-milk substitutes (BMS) using marketing practices that fall below the standard. A recommendation is that companies should include all of their BMS products within the space of their marketing commitments and should commit to apply their policies worldwide. So, the 2018 Index shows that the world’s biggest F&B companies haves stepped up their efforts to encourage better diets, mostly through new and update nutrition strategies and policies, improved commitments on affordability and accessibility, better performance on nutrition labeling and health and nutrition claims, and more disclosure of information across categories. Nevertheless, there are serious concerns about the healthiness of the world’s largest global F&B manufacturers’ product portfolios.
A press statement on the Access To Nutrition Index can be found here.