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More than 1,500 nutritionists debate literacy and equity in access to food

More than 1,500 nutritionists will meet on May 16 and 17, in Lisbon, to discuss food literacy and the promotion of equity in access to food, according to the Portuguese Nutrition Association (APN).

In statements to Lusa, the president of the APN, Célia Craveiro, highlighted that “the aging of the population and the increasingly accentuated migratory flows have significant impacts on guaranteeing a healthy diet”, in part because the population lives later and because migratory flows cause “a greater burden” on food production for a large number of people in certain territories.

The expert considered that these conditions “increase the amount of food waste,” which in itself also has “a [ecológica] high.”

Célia Craveiro argued, therefore, that “Nutrition must be inclusive”That is, it must be designed “for each person or population group,” ensuring “better access to more balanced and sustainable foods.”

On the other hand, he highlighted that “eating in a balanced way does not have to be more expensive.”

The president of the APN explained that “everything depends on how we plan and manage our diet and what foods we select to integrate into our food journey,” considering that if the population masters these two axes of food literacy they will be able to “save on the purchase of food and have a diet with nutritional and sustainable quality.”

Asked about the Portuguese tendency to spend more money on less healthy options, Célia Craveiro acknowledged that “it is very important to invest in promoting food literacy among the population,” to reverse the current paradigm.

In his opinion, nutritional education “must start at home”, but schools “can also be a good help” to promote food literacy in children and young people.

Asked about the choice of some families to buy certain foods instead of cooking them, Célia Craveiro acknowledged that “cooking involves time, dedication and planning” and that, currently, “not always” there is availability.

“This offering may become less sustainable as it involves unused packaging when cooking at home and because it becomes a more expensive meal,” he said.

However, Célia Craveiro admitted that “in the context of some people who may not have the time, the conditions and even the knowledge”, these prepared food options “may be appropriate”.

The expert considers that, in the Portuguese’s access to a healthy diet, there has been “a gradual move away from food solutions that may be more economical”, giving the example of legumes.

“We Portuguese have a residual daily consumption of this type of food, which is quite economical, especially when purchased dry and in bulk, and which has excellent nutritional potential for our daily eating plan,” he highlights.

One of the topics that will be debated at the congress will be the inclusive nutrition of immigrants arriving in Portugal.

“There is an immersion of migrants in the country’s culture, so it is also important to promote healthy eating among them, but it will also be necessary to respect, as far as possible, their gastronomic cultures,” he highlighted.

Célia Craveiro also stated that child nutrition, which often represents an enormous economic effort for families, will be one of the topics that will be debated at the congress.

“It is important to promote an increase in the nutritional knowledge of parents, which can be achieved with closer monitoring by nutritionists of children throughout their lives,” he stated.

Source: Observadora

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