Food problems are considered as the foundation of many of the critical health problems in the world. Malnutrition, caused by unhealthy feeding, is one of the leading causes of death and disability across the globe. It was recorded that about 11 million deaths every year are caused by poor diets which leads to an estimation of higher deaths compared to tobacco, high blood pressure, heart attack, and many other health risks. Resultantly, there have been a rise in diet-related chronic diseases worldwide.
Lack of constant access to affordable and nutritious diet is regarded as the biggest challenge of healthy diets. The rates of undernutrition and overnutrition has risen around the world with one out of three people having no access to adequate and nutritious food in 2020. Even the US is a victim of unhealthy nutrition as it has not improved in the integration of food and nutrition into its health systems. Out of ten people in the US, more than one person lacks reliable access to nutritious foods.
There has been no solid progress in providing access to nutritious foods.
In many countries of the world, soon-to-be doctors get series of medical trainings but little or no training on nutrition and healthy foods. Also, while the majority of health insurance plans are for covering the cost of treating a sickness or illness, they do not prevent illnesses through healthy diet and nutrition programmes. In response to this, the United Nations asserts that there has been no general progress towards building a world that has easy access to safe, nutritious and adequate food.
Therefore, Instacart – a grocery delivery service – stated that food and nutrition should be put at the center of the global approach towards health with participation of everyone. For a long time now, the food industry has been on the sidelines in health aspects for lack of incentives for companies to engage. Prior to this moment, there was a lack of infrastructure and technology to aid the spread of nutrition solutions to a reasonable number of the population.
Nutritious foods can be scaled as medicine initiatives.
However, a new phase has emerged as food has been discovered as medicine. The potential of food as medicine has created fresh opportunities for food-related companies to build real value for and make positive impact on health systems, patients, insurers and basically everyone. For this reason, Instacart has been welcoming more grocers, food-focused nonprofits and consumer packaged goods companies as they progress into the health arena. Instacart has also witnessed the impact of technology in granting people access to nutritious food.
Recently, more opportunities have surfaced to improve technology in order to aid innovative nutrition programmes and build good health outcomes for many people. The evolution of this technology has advanced to a stage where nutritious foods can be scaled up as medicine initiatives in ways that were impossible about two years ago. For instance, prescription and ordering of specific food items can now be made by physicians and sent directly to a patient’s door so that they have healthy food for when they get home from the hospital.
Global Food Security Summit to combat global food insecurity.
The White House, in September 2022, organized the first national conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in over five decades. The summit concentrated on nutrition-related issues through interactions between leaders from government, academia, industry and more. Similarly, government leaders from countries like the US, Germany, Indonesia, the African Union, Spain, Columbia, Nigeria, and the European Union held a Global Food Security Summit for acceleration of action to fight global food insecurity and exploration of opportunities for replacement and scaling of innovative solutions.