Showing results for: Consumption and diets
The type, quantity and formats of foods we eat vary considerably over time and space. A person’s consumption of food is rarely a matter solely (or even largely) of personal conscious choice. Instead, it is affected by such wide-ranging factors as cultural identity and taboos, food availability and price, genetics, legislation, technological innovation and marketing campaigns. Governments and civil society organisations have long been promoting healthy diets to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases both at a global and national scale and the concept of ‘sustainable healthy diets’ – diets that have lower environmental impacts but fulfil nutritional requirements – is very slowly gaining ground.
The Swedish EAT Forum has produced a series of podcasts that examine how the findings of the EAT-Lancet report on healthy diets from sustainable food systems can be translated into action.
According to the BMJ (British Medical Journal), the World Health Organisation pulled out of sponsoring a launch event for the EAT-Lancet report on healthy and sustainable diets after Gian Lorenzo Cornado, Italy’s ambassador to the United Nations, questioned the health and economic impacts of the report’s largely plant-based diet recommendations.
14% of Brits are “flexitarians”, i.e. they have a mixed diet that is mainly based on vegetarian foods but they occasionally eat meat, according to this white paper from the UK-based market research firm YouGov. Flexitarianism is more common among young women than other demographic groups and more common in inner London than other geographic regions.
In two experiments where participants were asked to choose between hypothetical canteen meals, “traffic light labelling” (red, amber or green labels) of different meal options was found to shift meal choices towards those lower in carbon emissions and calorie content.
FCRN member Christian Reynolds uses linear programming to calculate diets that meet both health and greenhouse gas emission criteria while being affordable for different income groups in the UK. Generally, the optimised diets are higher in plant-based foods than diets consumed in the UK in 2013, although seafood is higher in the optimised diet than in 2013 diets.
This report from the Japanese Institute for Global Environmental Strategies shows how lifestyles would have to change in industrialised countries and some industrialising countries in order to meet climate change targets.
This report from the UK think tank, the Food Foundation identifies ten statistics that illustrate the effect that the UK’s food system has on health, and makes recommendations aimed at ensuring that healthy diets are accessible to all.
The report Solutions Menu: A Nordic guide to sustainable food policy by the Nordic Food Policy Lab is now available in Spanish.
This paper explores attitudes towards eating insects, based on a online survey of Finnish consumers. It finds that both vegetarians and omnivores are more likely than vegans to consider eating food made from insects.
FCRN member Diego Rose has written a paper on the links between dietary choices in the United States (based on real dietary data), environmental impacts, and nutrition quality, finding that the diets with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per calorie generally scored better on the US Healthy Eating Index.
This feature in the Guardian discusses the reasons for the current popularity of high-protein foods, explores consumption patterns between countries, and questions whether protein shakes have the same nutritional benefits as relatively unprocessed options such as salmon.
Canada’s new dietary guidelines include environmental considerations as well as health, suggesting that diets higher in plant-based foods generally help to conserve “soil, water and air”.