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The Stakeholders’ Views on Factors Influencing Nutrition Policy: a Qualitative Study Across Ten European Countries
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Publication date: 2015-12-31
Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2015;65(4):293-302
The objective was to identify the main factors influencing micronutrient policies in the opinion of policy actors in ten European countries. Study was carried out during Jan-Nov 2010 in European countries: the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Spain. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with representatives of stakeholders involved in the vitamin D, folate and iodine policy making process. Fifty eight key informants representing mainly scientific advisory bodies (n=24) and governmental organisations (n=19) participated in the study. The remaining interviewees represented non governmental organisations (n=6), industry (n=4) or were independent academic or health professional experts (n=5). Data were analySed by theoretical interpretative thematic analysis. Insights from interviewees on the development of micronutrient policies were grouped using the Public Health Nutrition Policy-making model. The main factors influencing the micronutrient policies were: systematic monitoring of nutrition and health, causal relationships between consumers’ diet-related behaviours and health outcomes, scientific recommendations from national bodies (Science area); scientific recommendations from international authorities and experiences of other countries, EU legislation, cultural factors (Wider context) and political environment, national capacity to deal with the problem, national legislation, economics, stakeholder engagement, relationships between stakeholders (Policy and institutions area). The spectrum and weight of the factors influencing nutritional policy depends on nutrient, country and degree of its “advanced status” within nutrition policy, political environment, culture and socio-economic conditions as well as the point of view (who is expressing the opinion).
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