Food, Global Health 1 min

Dietary Behaviours. What factors come into play? What action, for what result?

On 24 June 2010, INRA published the findings of a scientific expert report on dietary behaviours, commissioned by the Ministry responsible for food. This unprecedented study brought together some twenty experts from various fields and institutions. Their bibliographical research covered nearly 1,600 scientific articles to assess research into dietary behaviour.

Published on 24 June 2010

illustration  Dietary Behaviours. What factors come into play? What action, for what result?
© INRAE, Ch. Maître

Dietary behaviours have changed considerably in recent decades. People are eating more dietary fats, more processed foods and are eating out more often. This is coupled with the growing role of mass retailers in supply channels. As a key factor to our wellbeing, food can be beneficial or detrimental to our health. Food is at the crux of public health policy and is, more broadly speaking, a key concern for everyone. In the interest of public health, food policy deals with both a number of food issues such as food safety, food security and preventative nutrition, as well as France’s economically and culturally important food industry.

From nutrients to dietary behaviours

Ever-expanding research on the links between food and healthy lifestyle has addressed a wide range of topics, ranging from the relationship between nutrients and health (as in the case of vitamins, for example) to the complex nutritional interactions of foods or food combinations. This new knowledge meant that certain foods such as fruits, vegetables and fish could be championed as sources of beneficial nutrients and that recommended dietary allowances could be proposed. On the basis of such research, public policy has, for many years, spearheaded information campaigns about nutrition and fostered cooperation with the agrofood industry to produce healthier food. Unfortunately, rising obesity rates show that the expected effects of such efforts have yet to be achieved.

With this in mind, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, commissioned INRA to prepare a scientific expert report assessing research on the causal factors of dietary behaviour in order to guide its future course of action.

The report draws on nearly 1,600 scientific articles from around the world and was prepared by some twenty experts from fields as diverse as epidemiology, nutrition, sociology and economics.

Read the full report

Learn more

Food, Global Health

New prebiotics: benefits without the downsides?

PRESS RELEASE - Prebiotics are currently a preferred treatment for certain metabolic disorders, as they can restore the balance of dysfunctional gut microbiota, and improve the body’s metabolism. However, these substances have to be used at high doses, which can result in patients experiencing bloating and flatulence. A research group led by Matteo Serino, Inserm researcher at the Digestive Health Research Institute (Inserm/INRA/ENVT/UT3 Paul Sabatier), has recently shown three plant extracts to have prebiotic effects in obese/diabetic mice, with a shorter duration of treatment and at lower doses to the prebiotics currently in use. For Matteo Serino, this raises the question: do we need to reconsider the protocol for prebiotic administration? These results have been published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

12 December 2019