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Research on nutrition policy measures

Consumer-oriented nutrition policy only works if it understands and addresses people's nutritional and living situations. This requires research that goes far beyond surveying food consumption and considers the determinants of nutritional behaviour. Why do people buy ready-made products? Why is there an outcry when school lunches are revised to provide more vegetables and less meat? Why is the price of food often more important than the effect on one’s own health or the climate? Only with ongoing investigations into such questions and their backgrounds can it be possible to draw an up-to-date picture of the population with their wishes, motivations and restrictions behind the observed nutritional behaviour.

The fact that there is often a wide gap between nutritional recommendations and eating habits is bad for everyone: health, society, the environment, and the economy. In the meantime, there are many measures to correct this situation, sometimes more, sometimes less science-based. But how is it decided which measures are the right, i.e. effective ones for a given context in food policy? And what are the causes if the right measures are known but not implemented? To answer the first question, research is required into how existing measures can be assessed in terms of their effectiveness and transferability to one's own circumstances. For the second question, it is important to examine how research and practice can be brought together to promote implementation.

For science-based policy advice it is therefore crucial to know both the consumers as a target group and the appropriate measures to improve nutritional behaviour. Accordingly, the work of the team "Research on nutrition policy measures" is divided into two areas: consumer-oriented research and measure-oriented research. Both research areas focus on the key topics of poverty and plant-based nutrition, wherever appropriate.