Need for food system change to modify consumption
Both global and local food systems, and the wider food environment, are key determinants of our diet and health. They not only determine our day-to-day food preferences but also shape our food preferences and habitual eating behaviour throughout our life. This makes behaviour change, be it for health or for sustainability, challenging. This is particularly true when the food, the physical, the social and the economic environment all reinforce unhealthy and unsustainable choices. In this issue, Christian Reynolds highlights the dynamic nature of food systems demonstrating how consumer’s beliefs and behaviours had changed radically in the last 100 years, but also the potential to change them equally dramatically to address the individual and global health. Emma Boyland discusses how ubiquitous and pervasive marketing targets young consumers promotion the consumption of foods and beverages high fats, sugars and/or salts. Most alarming is the recruitment of social media ‘influencers’ who directly engage with children through vloggers (YouTube) and Instagram, by brands promoting the intake of unhealthy snacks and other energy dense products. Finally, Frans Folkvord examines how marketing techniques can be used to promote health foods in children providing a theoretical model, which details how we might change attitudes and behaviour.