Towards healthy and sustainable food consumption: an Australian case study

Friel, Sharon, Barosh, Lauren and Lawrence, Mark 2014, Towards healthy and sustainable food consumption: an Australian case study, Public health nutrition, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 1156-1166, doi: 10.1017/S1368980013001523.

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Title Towards healthy and sustainable food consumption: an Australian case study
Author(s) Friel, Sharon
Barosh, Lauren
Lawrence, MarkORCID iD for Lawrence, Mark
Journal name Public health nutrition
Volume number 17
Issue number 5
Start page 1156
End page 1166
Total pages 11
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Place of publication Cambridge, England
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1368-9800
Keyword(s) Environmental sustainability
Dietary choice
Food systems
Food security
Food policy
Health policy
Summary Objective To articulate a healthy and sustainable (H&S) diet; outline key health and environmental sustainability principles that can be applied in the selection of foods for inclusion in such a diet; and describe a methodology with which to assess the availability and affordability of a H&S food basket.

Design We synthesized publically available evidence on the environmental impact of different foods from academic, government, industry and non-government sources and constructed a hypothetical H&S equivalent of the typical Australian diet. Based on this, we constructed a weekly H&S food basket for a household of two adults and two children.

Setting Australia.

Subjects Australian populations.

Results The H&S diet is based on three overarching principles: (i) any food that is consumed above a person's energy requirement represents an avoidable environmental burden in the form of greenhouse gas emissions, use of natural resources and pressure on biodiversity; (ii) reducing the consumption of discretionary food choices, which are energy-dense and highly processed and packaged, reduces both the risk of dietary imbalances and the use of environmental resources; and (iii) a diet comprising less animal- and more plant-derived foods delivers both health and ecological benefits.

Conclusions We have focused on the articulation of a H&S diet not to facilitate ‘policy drift’ to focus on individual dietary choice, but rather to provide evidence to extend dietary guideline recommendations so as to integrate environmental considerations within the scope of food and health policy advice in Australia and elsewhere.
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/S1368980013001523
Field of Research 111101 Clinical and Sports Nutrition
050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
Socio Economic Objective 960504 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Cambridge University Press
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Population Health
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Created: Wed, 19 Jun 2013, 14:30:19 EST by Mark Lawrence

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