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Marché de Mur de Barrez en Carladez, Aveyron.. © INRA, WEBER Jean

Inform public and private initiatives

Updated on 07/21/2017
Published on 03/17/2015

Public policies can be grouped into two broad categories: on the one hand, those that aim to raise consumer awareness and help people make more “enlightened” food choices (eg nutritional education, labelling, controlled advertising, awareness-building campaigns); and on the other hand, those that aim to modify the market environment (price policies, standards for product composition, incentives to change the formula of products, restricted access in certain places, etc.). In reality, it is mostly the first kind that have put into practice, with very limited overall success judging by the rise in obesity, for example. The second kind has not been put into practice much, and has so far been the subject of relatively few studies. Yet, acting directly upon supply could well be more “efficient” in reaching nutritional and environmental goals

That is why integrated models of knowledge must be developed, in order to measure the impact of different food policies designed to improve long-term health, or to make food consumption more sustainable. In addition, approaches that look at cost-effectiveness (analysing cost by the number of years added to life), or indeed cost-benefit trade-offs (attributing a monetary value on overall impact), should be more systematically developed in order to tell which policies most merit implementation.

In addition to ex-post analyses - ie analyses of measures put in place and for which we can infer the impact on dietary practices - research will also take an interest in ex-ante analyses of policies, since these have not yet been carried out.

It is particularly important to measure the impact of public policies on overall diet, and not only on targeted products. There are indeed many ways in which foods can complement or substitute each other, and overall diet is what counts when assessing health and environmental impact (quantities and losses).


The metaprogramme intends to:

  • perform ex-post analyses of food policies and ex-ante analyses of public policies with a view to forecasting their impact;
  • develop new evaluation methods integrating corporate strategic responses both in terms of price and quality of products,
  • develop an integrated model for conducting cost-effectiveness analyses for a range of policies.