The Process of Setting Micronutrient Recommendations: A Cross-European Comparison of Nutrition-Related Scientific Advisory Bodies

Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 716–728, 2011

Posted: 21 Aug 2012

See all articles by Lada Timotijevic

Lada Timotijevic

Independent

Julie Barnett

Brunel University London - School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics

Kerry Brown

Independent

Richard Shepherd

University of Surrey

Laura Fernandez-Celemin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Livia Dömölki

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Juri Ruprich

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Rosalie Dhonukshe-Rutten

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Anne-Mette Sonne

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Maria Hermoso

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Berthold Koletzko

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Lene Frost Andersen

University of Oslo

Arnold Timmer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Monique M. Raats

University of Surrey

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Objective: To examine the workings of the nutrition-related scientific advisory bodies in Europe, paying particular attention to the internal and external contexts within which they operate.

Design: Desk research based on two data collection strategies: a questionnaire completed by key informants in the field of micronutrient recommendations and a case study that focused on mandatory folic acid (FA) fortification.

Setting: Questionnaire-based data were collected across thirty-five European countries. The FA fortification case study was conducted in the UK, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Results: Varied bodies are responsible for setting micronutrient recommendations, each with different statutory and legal models of operation. Transparency is highest where there are standing scientific advisory committees (SAC). Where the standing SAC is created, the range of expertise and the terms of reference for the SAC are determined by the government. Where there is no dedicated SAC, the impetus for the development of micronutrient recommendations and the associated policies comes from interested specialists in the area. This is typically linked with an ad hoc selection of a problem area to consider, lack of openness and transparency in the decisions and over-reliance on international recommendations.

Conclusions: Even when there is consensus about the science behind micronutrient recommendations, there is a range of other influences that will affect decisions about the policy approaches to nutrition-related public health. This indicates the need to document the evidence that is drawn upon in the decisions about nutrition policy related to micronutrient intake.

Keywords: Micronutrient recommendations, Scientific advisory bodies, Nutrition policy, Evidence, Food regulation

Suggested Citation

Timotijevic, Lada and Barnett, Julie and Brown, Kerry and Shepherd, Richard and Fernandez-Celemin, Laura and Dömölki, Livia and Ruprich, Juri and Dhonukshe-Rutten, Rosalie and Sonne, Anne-Mette and Hermoso, Maria and Koletzko, Berthold and Andersen, Lene Frost and Timmer, Arnold and Raats, Monique M., The Process of Setting Micronutrient Recommendations: A Cross-European Comparison of Nutrition-Related Scientific Advisory Bodies (2011). Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 716–728, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2132431

Lada Timotijevic (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available
United States

Julie Barnett

Brunel University London - School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics ( email )

United Kingdom

Kerry Brown

Independent ( email )

No Address Available
United States

Richard Shepherd

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford
Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

Laura Fernandez-Celemin

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Livia Dömölki

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Juri Ruprich

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Rosalie Dhonukshe-Rutten

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Anne-Mette Sonne

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Maria Hermoso

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

Berthold Koletzko

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

Lene Frost Andersen

University of Oslo ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavs plass
Oslo, N-0317
Norway

Arnold Timmer

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Monique M. Raats

University of Surrey ( email )

Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences
Food, Consumer Behaviour & Health Research Centre
Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/SHS/fcbh.html

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