Meat, eggs and milk offer crucial sources of much-needed nutrients: FAO

Governments should promote the benefits of sourcing food from land-based animals but take into account challenges linked to livestock including environmental issues

Meat, eggs and milk offer crucial sources of much-needed nutrients which cannot easily be obtained from plant-based foods, a new report issued recently by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) says.  

This is particularly vital during key life stages such as pregnancy and lactation, childhood, adolescence and older age, says the study, entitled Contribution of terrestrial animal source food to healthy diets for improved nutrition and health outcomes. 

It’s the most comprehensive analysis yet of the benefits and risks of consuming animal source foods and is based on data and evidence from more than 500 scientific papers and some 250 policy documents.

If consumed as part of an appropriate diet, animal source foods can help with meeting the nutrition targets endorsed by the World Health Assembly and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to reducing stunting, wasting among children under five years of age, low birthweight, anemia in women of reproductive age, and obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in adults.

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