From micronutrient recommendations to policy: consumer and stakeholder involvement

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Background/Objectives:To achieve the nutritional goals stipulated by micronutrient recommendations, greater attention must be paid to the behavioural routes to such nutritional outcomes. Coopting stakeholders and consumers into decisions regarding micronutrient recommendations is an important step towards achieving a greater link between micronutrient recommendations and behaviour. This study aims to examine the rationale and processes associated with consumer and stakeholder involvement in setting micronutrient recommendations across Europe.Subjects/Methods:Using the contacts established through the Eurreca network of excellence (commissioned by the European Commission), the research involved in-depth desk research of key documents and communication channels linked to the process of setting micronutrient recommendations across seven countries: the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic and Hungary.Results:Stakeholder engagement is recognized by most countries as an important aspect of the process of setting micronutrient recommendations and their translation into policy, although there is notable variation in the extent to which this has been achieved across the seven countries and its effect on final decisions. Stakeholders were not involved at the outset of the process (‘framing’ of the problem) in any of the countries, and there was no evidence of consumer involvement and open public fora.Conclusions:Some of the key explanatory factors for diversity in the degree of involvement include historical sociopolitical context; the extent to which food and nutrition are key policy agenda; and the relative power of stakeholders in influencing food and nutrition policy.

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