The importance of food supplements for public health and wellbeing
Healthcare costs are steadily increasing and policymakers must make decisions now to overcome future challenges. Improving overall health instead of treating diseases should be a key cornerstone of any future health policy. A better understanding of the nutritional gaps and individual needs can be achieved with broader use of available diagnostic methods and will enable customised recommendations for nutrient supplementation. Regular use of food supplements in specific risk groups has demonstrated to have a significant potential to reduce disease risks and save on corresponding healthcare costs.
Healthcare costs are exploding year on year and policy must be used to define ways to manage these serious developments. In a recent evaluation, the European Commission diagnosed that a rethink of our understanding about health in policymaking is needed (1). Among the five key areas of engagement, health promotion and disease prevention were considered as essential elements to keep EU citizens healthy. Interestingly, only around 3% of the health budgets are being spent on the prevention of non-communicable diseases, even though they account for up to 80% of healthcare costs. Therefore, promoting a healthier lifestyle and tackling major risk factors would greatly reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases.
How can this be achieved? Is it enough to reduce alcohol consumption, quit smoking and increase physical activity? Or do we have to go beyond these general measures? Can a tailored nutrient supply from food supplements help to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce disease risk?
People are individuals, having different nutritional needs or ge ...