Nutrition Research Reviews
Cambridge University Press
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for People, Place and Planet
This work is supported by the Western Australian Future Health Research and Innovation Fund, which is an initiative of the WA State Government. The WA State Government had no role in the design, analysis or writing of this article.
This scoping review aimed to explore international evidence on the impact of Food Policy Groups (FPGs) on local food systems, in urban and rural regions of high-income countries. Peer-reviewed and grey literature were searched to identify 31 documents published between 2002 and 2022 providing evidence on the impact of FPGs. Activities spanned domains including increasing food equity (e.g. strengthening school meals programs); increasing knowledge and/or demand for healthy food (e.g. food literacy programs with children and adults); increasing food access (e.g. enhancing local food procurement); environmental sustainability (e.g. promoting low-waste food items on café menus); economic development (e.g. ensuring local businesses are not outperformed by large food distributors), and increasing food system resiliency (e.g. establishment of local produce schemes). Most FPGs reported conducting activities that positively influenced multiple food system domains and reported activities in urban areas, and to a lesser extent in rural areas. Our study highlighted a range of qualitative and quantitative evaluation strategies used to measure FPGs' impact on local food systems. Our recommendations focus on regular and systematic evaluation and research surrounding the impact of FPGs activities, to build the evidence base of their impact. Ideally, evaluation would utilise comprehensive, and established tools. We recommend exploring the establishment of FPGs across more regions of high-income countries, particularly rural areas; and forming partnerships between FPGs, local government and universities to maximise implementation and evaluation of activities.
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