National Nutrition Council
National nutrition council - Guardian of public nutrition
The National Nutrition Council of Finland has already since 1954 monitored the nutrition and health of Finnish people and issued nutritional recommendations aimed at improving their status. Initially the Council focused on eliminating nutritional deficiencies. Examples of these activities include the addition of iodine in salt to fight the goitre epidemic and the addition of vitamins A and D in margarines to prevent night blindness and rickets. In the recent decades the major challenge has changed into reducing health problems caused rather by the overabundant consumption of food or food of the wrong type. The greatest challenges in national health are at the moment associated with the prevalence of overweight and type 2 diabetes in both adults and children of ever younger age. The prevention of cardiovascular diseases through nutritional means is also still one of the most important objectives.
The National Nutrition Council is an expert body under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The Council members represent authorities dealing with nutrition matters, consumer, advisory and health promotion organisations as well as organisations from the fields of industry, commerce and agriculture, and they are elected for a period of three years.
The term of office of the current Council is 4.10.2014 - 3.10.2017.
The tasks of the National Nutrition Council are defined in the relevant Appointment Decision.
The aims of the National Nutrition Council in 2014-2017 are:
to revise general Finnish nutrition recommendations on the basis of the Nordic nutrition recommendations;
to monitor and develop nutrition of the population by issuing other nutrition recommendations, if necessary, and by making proposals for specific measures and monitoring the implementation of such measures and their impact on public health.
to take initiatives and provide statements as well as express opinions on issues related to the nutrition of the population and public health with regard to the entire food chain;
to monitor the outcomes of nutritional risk assessment and take initiatives and make declarations based on them;
to coordinate and monitor the execution of Government policies regarding health-promoting nutrition;
to develop awareness actions for the Council;
to execute any other tasks following from the Government Programme.