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For a public health nutrition policy in France. PNNS 2017-2021

Analysis of the processes and results of the three previous Programmes Nationaux Nutrition Santé (PNNSs – French Nutrition and Health Programmes) has led to an understanding of the limitations of public health strategies based exclusively on individual determinants of dietary behaviour and physical activity. Such strategies mainly relied on nutrition communication and purely incentive approaches.

As preceding PNNSs only partially achieved the objectives set for them and given that social inequalities in health are exacerbated in the field of nutrition, the HCSP recommends a public health nutrition policy for 2017-2021 based on measures targeting the general population, their intensiveness increasing in line with the degree of vulnerability.

It also recommends that, in addition to implementation of such strategies, action be taken on the social, economic and societal environment with a view to facilitating healthy individual lifestyle choices with regard to food and physical activity. It recommends recourse to regulatory measures to reduce the pressure exerted by commercial marketing, improvement of the food offer, and physical and economic access to foods of better nutritional quality. Finally, it recommends development of specific priority actions targeting children and disadvantaged sectors of the population.

Such a policy, which must take full account of environmental concerns and sustainable development, requires reorganisation of its governance. The HCSP recommends setup of an interministerial management body with clearly defined public health objectives and ensuring coherence between national and regional measures.

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