Strategies to prevent the metabolic syndrome at the population level: role of authorities and non-governmental bodies.
Sommaire de l'article
The remarkable increase over the past 40 years in some chronic diseases, including the metabolic syndrome, has increased the demand for government and international policies to encourage various approaches to decrease the risk of these disease. There are some prerequisites for working out successful national food and nutrition policies.
Firstly, it is necessary to have a clear picture of the dietary pattern in a country and its associated public health problems. Based on these data, nutrient recommendations and goals are formulated by international or national scientific committees. Governments should translate these nutrient goals into food goals and eventually into national dietary guidelines. The means by which the national authorities can implement a nutrition policy include fortification and supplementation.
Equally important are educational and informative tools, such as labelling on the packed food products including information about ingredients and nutrient content. With respect to the metabolic syndrome, this implies nutrient recommendations regarding the intake of fat and carbohydrates (energy per cent) and dietary fibre; dietary guidelines regarding balance between energy intake and expenditure; decreased consumption of products rich in fat and increased consumption of cereals and other products rich in dietary fibre, etc.; recommendations from the authorities regarding nutrient labelling (content of fat and dietary fibre) on relevant products; and nutrient and health claims and other aids (symbols) as tools to make it easier for consumers to select the appropriate food products.