1st International Workshop on indicators of societal and mental health

In order to track and monitor relevant benefits from dietary and lifestyle related changes arising from converting to Ecoregions, one or more sets of markers and indicators are necessary. A somehow simple set of markers is useful for municipalities in order to monitor the effect of the changes on a more daily basis, but a more comprehensive set of markers is also relevant and important for researchers digging deeper into the more complex results of the transitions.

This includes indicators for somatic health, but also indicators for mental health encompassing psychological, emotional and social well-being. Indeed, newer models of human health draw these together in a multifactorial model. To date mental health issues when people voluntarily choose another, more healthy lifestyle, such as when choosing to become organic consumers, are more likely to be discussed in lifestyle blogs or based on subjective reports by cohort populations. To date only few studies have explored associations between organic lifestyle choices and these health dimensions.


The above leads to this project activity, aiming to bring together researchers and experts from different scientific disciplines, comprising both experts in child nutrition and health, experts in organic and sustainable food and health, as well as experts in the psycho-social research areas, to discuss and reach consensus on the best markers for future monitoring and research on the societal and mental health effects of dietary transitions towards more sustainable and organic diets.

For this, the 1st INSUM International Workshop was organised in Münster on 5th-6th May 2022, bringing together experts from Europe and from overseas as well as representatives of the INSUM consortium.

The outcomes of the workshop have been described in the consensus paper published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health available here: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/20/1/669.

Elsner, F.; Matthiessen, L.E.; Średnicka-Tober, D.; Marx, W.; O’Neil, A.; Welch, A.A.; Hayhoe, R.P.; Higgs, S.; van Vliet, M.; Morphew-Lu, E.; Kazimierczak, R.; Góralska-Walczak, R.; Kopczyńska, K.; Steenbuch Krabbe Bruun, T.; Rosane, B.P.; Gjedsted Bügel, S.; Strassner, C. Identifying Future Study Designs for Mental Health and Social Wellbeing Associated with Diets of a Cohort Living in Eco-Regions: Findings from the INSUM Expert Workshop. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20, 669. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010669.

The developed research network and the workshop scientific outcome aim to serve as a strong basis for a multicentre Horizon Europe project proposal about dietary transition, consumption of local, organic and sustainable food, health and wellbeing of children and adults in ecoregions.