Official Dialogue Feedback to the United Nations 2021 Food Systems Summit
Type of Dialogue
Language of Dialogue Event
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Food systems are not on track to deliver on food security, nutrition and sustainability; globally they are one of the main drivers of environmental degradation, and are failing to provide decent livelihoods to large parts of the world population. This, within the context of increasing disparities and the advent of the adverse effects caused by climate change. These unprecedented challenges are complex and deeply interrelated, and thus require solutions that are systemic and dynamic, that go beyond single disciplinary approaches whilst actively engage the voices of food systems stakeholders.
The Mediterranean region is no exception to this: population growth, demographic changes, tourism, urbanization and globalization are changing consumption and production patterns, in a context of climate change and decline of ecosystems. Today, more than ever, the region is facing unprecedented and interdependent environmental, economic and social challenges that affect food security, health, nutrition, sustainability, and, thus, the livelihoods of all people across the Mediterranean.
In Malta one challenge that we face as a country is the fact that the incidence of child obesity is very high. This was one of the findings of a WHO study on the health behaviour in school-aged children done between 2017 and 2018 and published in May 2020. Among the evidence presented by the study we find that the numbers for obesity have increased over the previous 3-year period; that obesity is more prevalent in boys than in girls; that Malta ranks amongst the bottom three countries in daily vegetable consumption, with only one in every four children reporting eating vegetables daily; and that sweet consumption, on the other hand is high, with 37% of 11-year olds saying they eat sweets daily, a habit that has shown an upward trend compared to the previous study period.