Food systems are at the heart of at least 12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The wide scope of the SDGs call for holistic approaches that integrate previously “siloed”
food sustainability assessments. Here we present a first global-scale analysis quantifying the
status of national food system performance of 156 countries, employing 25 sustainability
indicators across 7 domains as follows: nutrition, environment, food affordability and availability,
sociocultural well-being, resilience, food safety, and waste. The results show that
different countries have widely varying patterns of performance with unique priorities for
improvement. High-income nations score well on most indicators, but poorly on environmental,
food waste, and health-sensitive nutrient-intake indicators. Transitioning from animal
foods toward plant-based foods would improve indicator scores for most countries. Our
nation-specific quantitative results can help policy-makers to set improvement targets on
specific areas and adopt new practices, while keeping track of the other aspects of
Sustainable Food Processing Laboratory, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zurich, Schmelzbergstrasse 9, Zurich, 8092, Switzerland
Copyright: DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03308-7 © The Author(s) 2018.