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World Health Day – healthy living in a time of change

April 7 is a special day. Not only does it mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948, it is also the annual official World Health Day. This year, the focus is on clean air, water, and food.

In a world where 800 million people are undernourished, 2.2 billion people are overweight or obese and 2 billion people lack safe drinking water globally, the need for better access to healthy foods is striking. By 2050, the global population is expected to number almost 10 billion people, who will all depend on a reliable supply of safe and nutritious food. The challenges are increased in times of armed conflict.

The health of the global population has evolved into one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century with an increasing number of people affected by lifestyle diseases and over 2 billion people not having regular access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food. As humans, our way of life is deeply rooted in the food that we consume. Living healthy increases our life quality, the joy of the individual and helps build a better society.

Leading the way towards healthier foods

Denmark has long led the way in developing healthier food solutions and guiding consumers towards healthier choices. The first national dietary guidelines made their debut back in the 1970s.

Danish food companies are global leaders when it comes to providing safe, healthy food of high quality to a wide range of countries on every continent. This position is no coincidence, but a result of the unique collaborative mindset between multiple stakeholders. The close collaboration across the food value chain has been significant in developing the many partnerships that dominate the food sector today, as well as sharpened government strategies.

Read more about how the Danish agriculture and food cluster works with healthy food innovation here.

A commitment to innovate nutritious foods

Through various initiatives and partnerships, Denmark has made successful contributions aimed at increasing public health. As a result of joint efforts within the WholEUgrain project, the Danish experiences of raising awareness, availability, and consumption of whole grain products, which can help prevent a series of lifestyle diseases are now going global.

To highlight a few of the innovative steps taken, Royal Greenland has created innovative solutions which decrease the amount of salt in seafood by up to 50% without reducing food safety. Whereas the Danish bioscience company Chr. Hansen has created a product that allows the natural creation of sugar in dairy products while maintaining a large intensity of sweetness, thereby, offering a great alternative to calorie-heavy and overly sweetened yogurts. Together, many innovative solutions and products are assisting in paving the way for a healthier future.

Denmark’s know-how on dairy production also comes in handy in terms of benefiting people in the developing world, where the GAIN Nordic Partnership and Ethiopia have co-developed an affordable nutritious yogurt by using local milk and Danish technology. Likewise, to ensure safe food for all and boost economic development in Ethiopia, the Sustainable Food Partnership has taken action to create a production of healthy and affordable biscuits.

Source: WHO