Agriculture, Food & Nutrition, People, Prosperity, Planet, Asia Pacific

Driving healthier diets and lifestyles in Asia

FIA COMMUNICATIONS | Jul 06, 2018

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This article was originally published by Food Industry Asia and is republished with permission.

The double burden of obesity and undernutrition has become an emerging threat to health and healthcare systems in the region, and many countries across Asia struggle to contain and address these issues.

At the FIA-CGF Health and Wellness dialogue session – held in partnership with the Consumer Goods Forum on 12 June, global leaders across the industry came together to discuss opportunities to drive healthier diets and lifestyles collaboratively.

Mr Ehab AbouOaf, FIA President & Regional President, Asia-Australia, Middle East and Africa of Mars Wrigley Confectionery gave the opening address and called for more “uncommon collaborations” through multi-sectoral partnerships to advance the health and nutrition agenda in Asia. “Complex issues require a multi-stakeholder, multi-dimensional approach that involves the whole of society.” said Mr AbouOaf.

Mr. Ehab AbouOaf calling for more “uncommon collaborations” to promote health and wellness across the region in his opening address.

With increasing policy pressures to drive health and wellness in Asia, Mr Matthew Kovac, Executive Director of Food Industry Asia, discussed the Asia Roundtable on Food Innovation for Improved Nutrition (ARoFIIN) platform, and FIA’s work to build trust among stakeholders across multiple sectors in Asia. He highlighted the need for multi-stakeholder collaboration through platforms like ARoFIIN and FIA in tackling the public health challenges caused by obesity and malnutrition. He also spoke about the importance of nutritional education, particularly in urban environments where sedentary lifestyles and physical inactivity are not uncommon, and other interventions to improve public health and wellbeing from a holistic point of view.

Report launch: Healthier Product Reformulation in Singapore

The food industry is aware of the important role it plays in nudging healthier behaviours among consumers, and we are seeing more companies working to innovate and reformulate products to improve their nutritional quality. The FIA-CGF session was an opportunity to highlight these efforts and share new FIA insight on industry and consumer trends towards product reformulation.

Ms. Joanne Denney-Finch OBE, Chief Executive of IGD launched the ‘Healthier Product Reformulation in Singapore’ report that was commissioned by FIA and carried out by IGD earlier this year. The report surveyed consumers and food companies in Singapore to understand behavioural trends and attitudes towards product innovation and reformulation, industry priorities and challenges faced by companies developing healthier products.

Ms. Joanne Denney-Finch OBE, sharing key findings from the ‘Healthier Product Reformulation in Singapore’ report.

“With Singapore’s rising incidence of obesity and diet-related diseases, eating healthily is no longer a nice-to-have – it’s a necessity”, said Ms. Denney-Finch.

Findings from the report show there is social and commercial demand for healthier products, with 80% of companies surveyed already reformulating their products to become healthier, and 16% planning to đồ sộ. “Reformulation is only part of the solution of advancing the public health agenda, it can have a significant impact mainly because it doesn’t rely on any change to consumer behaviour”, said Ms. Denney-Finch.

Speakers from across industry – including organisations like The Consumer Goods Forum, Ahold Delhaize, Danone, Walmart and Metro – came together to discuss partnerships and collaborations to drive healthier diets and lifestyles in the region, as part of the FIA-CGF Health and Wellness session on 12 June in Singapore.

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