Panel 2: Health-promoting sustainable food system
Title description: The aim is to increase awareness about the climate and health impacts of nutrition and food systems; where the impacts are taking place, what can be done to decrease the climate impact of the food systems and simultaneously have beneficial effects on health.
Food systems are wide and many parts of it are linked to sustainability issues, thus many actors can take part in developing and implementing health-promoting sustainable food systems, from food producers to consumers. Different actors in the food system are provided possible “action points”.
* Join this panel at Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, or live stream if you cannot attend physically and are interested to learn about the subject.
Jaana I. Halonen, PhD in epidemiology, docent in environmental epidemiology
Currently, Research program director at Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), coordinating the program Safe and health-promoting environment. She has earlier post-doctoral work experience as a researcher/environmental and occupational epidemiologist from Harvard School of Public Health (on health effects of outdoor temperature), Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (on various topics, incl. health effects of home neighborhood characteristics), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (on traffic-related air pollution and noise) and Stockholm University’s Stress Research Institute (health effects of work stress, home and workplace neighborhoods).
Outside work, she is interested in sports, especially outdoor sports such as xc-skiing and running, but has recently also started bouldering as an indoor hobby.
Ms. Heli Kuusipalo (MSc in Public Health Nutrition) is Senior Adviser and Project Manager at Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). She has more than 20 years of professional experience in public health issues. In her work, she contributes to the preparation of legislative development, frequently giving presentations or statements as an expert in committee hearings of the Finnish Parliament on issues related to, e.g., sustainability and health-based taxation.
Ms. Kuusipalo is a THL representative in sustainable development in Finnish Government’s Agenda 2030 expert group, drafting indicators in public health issues, and a THL’s expert representative in the interinstitutional Climate Panel. She is also a member of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s (MSaH) working group concentrating on adaption plans for climate change and is Finland’s contact for research net-work of School Meals Coalition, established in the United Nations’ Food Systems Summit 2021. The Summit launched new actions, solutions, and strategies to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), each of which relies on healthier, more sustainable and more equitable food systems.
Kuusipalo is a national co-ordinator and Senior expert of the EU Joint Action BestReMaP 2020-2023. She has also worked in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health as an advisor in WHO’s “Health in all policies” related issues and as a specialist in public health nutrition in the EU and WHO. Now she is a member of several working groups and steering committees set by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Dr. Hanna Konttinen works as Senior University Lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. She is also Docent in Social Psychology. Her research activities over the last 15 years have contributed to the areas of social psychology of eating and health (including psychosocial determinants of healthy and sustainable diets) as well as to the field of social inequalities in health. Currently, she is one of the work package leaders in Leg4Life project (www.leg4life.fi) where Legume-Friendly Consumer and Society work package focuses on determining how to promote legume use and production in the entire food chain.