Oslo City Hall
Oslo City Hall

In autumn 2022, Oslo Youth for Healthy and Sustainable Diets translated science from the EAT-Lancet Commission into accessible knowledge for youth in Oslo. EAT invited local youth to take part in the project, to develop and share recommendations on how public spaces and school meals could be reconsidered, with health and sustainability in mind.

To enhance understanding of healthy and sustainable food, and equip residents to change eating habits, the project held four activities with Oslo youth aged 15-25:

  1. Consultation on school meals
    • Overview of the EAT-Lancet report and Planetary Health Diet  
    • Co-create recommendations for tasty, healthy, and sustainable school meals
  1. Introduction to food environments
    • What ‘food environments’ are, and how physical surroundings influence food consumption behavior
    • Photovoice-inspired exercise: the youth were asked to take photos of their local food environments, to understand where and how they interact with food (grocery stores, cafes or restaurants in your neighborhood, school, clubs, home, etc.) 
  1. Consultation on food environments
    • Debrief on the Photovoice-inspired exercise  
    • Co-create recommendations for healthy food environment interventions 
  1. Presentation of recommendations by youth group to Oslo Municipality

The activities used the CO-CREATE Dialogue Forum tool, to enable youth and adults working on these topics to discuss how they interact with food in their daily lives and to develop recommendations for healthy food environments and school meals together.

The recommendations were presented and discussed with Oslo Municipality at a final event, as guidance to support the city’s food-related goals, as part of their school meals program and actions to achieve the C40 Good Food Cities Declaration, providing a Planetary Health Diet for all by 2030.

This work builds on EAT’s Shifting Urban Diets project, piloted in Copenhagen and resulting in three approaches towards a Planetary Health Diet. Testing these methods in Oslo and other cities is an important step in scaling this work – which we aim to do by developing an action toolkit. 

Read the Oslo Youth for Healthy and Sustainable Diets project final report to learn more about the methods and recommendations co-created with the youth.

What happens next? 

This project is the first phase of a new EAT initiative, City Guide to a Planetary Health Diet – a plan to build an action toolkit of approaches to shift urban food consumption behavior and build healthy food environments.  

The City Guide project will test and verify methods that contribute to making healthy and sustainable food the default option for city dwellers. The project will develop a practical and adaptable toolkit to implement these methods in a range of city contexts. The toolkit will be for actors shaping urban food systems (municipalities, urban planners and designers, community organizations, food service professionals and chefs, food retail outlets), to help shift food consumption behavior around the world. 

With tested tools to measure climate impact and implement interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve diets, the City Guide project can empower urban food practitioners to achieve commitments such as the C40 Good Food Cities Declaration and make progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement – using food systems change to address some of society’s most pressing challenges. 

This project falls under EAT Cities work, one of EAT’s four strategic programs: 1) Solidify knowledge; 2) Driving Dietary Shifts Globally and Nationally; 3) Food Economics and Finance; and 4) Cities and Urban Diets (where cities projects are grounded). 

Read more on EAT’s work with cities and urban food systems in the EAT Cities framework.

This project is supported by the Research Council of Norway.