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Select dietary changes towards sustainability: Impacts on dietary profiles, environmental footprint, and cost.

Guy, D. J, Bray, J. and Appleton, K. M, 2024. Select dietary changes towards sustainability: Impacts on dietary profiles, environmental footprint, and cost. Appetite, 194, 107194.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2023.107194


Healthy sustainable diets have the power to improve dietary intakes and environmental resource use. However, recommendations for improving food choices need to consider the effects of any changes across multiple dimensions of health, environmental sustainability, and dietary cost to promote long-lasting behaviour change. The aim of this study was to identify differences between original diets, and the diets that can be achieved through the implementation of select small dietary changes towards sustainability. Twelve hypothetical sustainable actions were investigated for the potential effects of these actions on dietary markers (protein, saturated fat, sugars, salt, iron, and calcium), environmental footprints (greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater withdrawals, and land use), and dietary cost. Dietary data from 1235 individuals, aged 19-94 years, participating in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2017/19) provided the original diet. Dietary changes were implemented as required by each sustainable action, and differences between the original diet and each new diet were investigated. Results revealed benefits to dietary markers and environmental characteristics from eleven sustainable actions (range: F(1,728) = 5.80, p < .001 to F(1,506) = 435.04,p < .001), but effects were stronger for some actions than for others. Greatest benefits for all three outcomes were found for actions which reduced meat consumption and/or replaced meat with pulses or eggs. The remaining sustainable actions tended to be beneficial for improving outcomes individually or to some degree. Our results demonstrate the possible impacts of a number of small sustainable dietary actions for dietary, environmental, and cost outcomes, and provide a hierarchy of actions based on benefit. Findings may facilitate dietary behaviours towards improved health, whilst also offering fruitful contributions towards environmental footprint targets in the UK.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Dietary change; Dietary substitution analysis; Food system; Healthy diet; Sustainability
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:39353
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:09 Jan 2024 09:25
Last Modified:09 Jan 2024 09:25


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