On January 19, GSL Research Fellow Isaac Weldon published an article in Nutrition Reviews titled, “Governing evidence use in the nutrition policy process: evidence and lessons from the 2020 Canada food guide.”
Nutrition guideline development is traditionally seen as a mechanism by which evidence is used to inform policy decisions. However, applying evidence in policy is a decidedly complex and politically embedded process, with no single universally agreed-upon body of evidence on which to base decisions, and multiple social concerns to address. Rather than simply calling for “evidence-based policy,” an alternative is to look at the governing features of the evidence use system and reflect on what constitutes improved evidence use from a range of explicitly identified normative concerns.
This study evaluates the use of evidence within the Canada Food Guide policy process by applying concepts of the “good governance of evidence” – an approach that incorporates multiple normative principles of scientific and democratic best practice to consider the structure and functioning of evidence advisory systems. The findings indicate that institutionalizing a process for evidence use grounded in democratic and scientific principles can improve evidence use in nutrition policy making.
The full article can be read here.