Overconsumption of energy and excessive discretionary food intake inflates dietary greenhouse gas emissions in Australia

Hendrie, Gilly A, Baird, Danielle, Ridoutt, Brad, Hadjikakou, Michalis and Noakes, Manny 2016, Overconsumption of energy and excessive discretionary food intake inflates dietary greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, Nutrients, vol. 8, no. 11, pp. 1-19, doi: 10.3390/nu8110690.

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Title Overconsumption of energy and excessive discretionary food intake inflates dietary greenhouse gas emissions in Australia
Author(s) Hendrie, Gilly A
Baird, Danielle
Ridoutt, Brad
Hadjikakou, MichalisORCID iD for Hadjikakou, Michalis orcid.org/0000-0002-3667-3982
Noakes, Manny
Journal name Nutrients
Volume number 8
Issue number 11
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2016
ISSN 2072-6643
Keyword(s) Australia
discretionary foods
environmental impacts
greenhouse gas emissions
sustainable diet
animal husbandry
consumer behavior
energy intake
food handling
food supply
greenhouse effect
health promotion
healthy diet
middle aged
models, biological
nutrition policy
nutrition surveys
patient compliance
young adult
Summary Population dietary guidelines have started to include information about the environmental impacts of food choices, but more quantifiable evidence is needed, particularly about the impacts associated with discretionary foods. This paper utilised the 2011-2012 Australian Health Survey food intake data along with a highly disaggregated input-output model to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) of Australians' dietary intake, and compare current patterns of eating which vary in diet quality and GHGe to the recommended diet. The average dietary GHGe were 18.72 ± 12.06 and 13.73 ± 8.72 kg CO₂e/day for male and female adults, respectively. The correlation between total energy and GHGe was r = 0.54 (p < 0.001). Core foods contributed 68.4% and discretionary foods 29.4%. Within core foods, fresh meat and alternatives (33.9%) was the greatest contributor. The modelling of current dietary patterns showed the contribution of discretionary foods to GHGe was 121% greater in the average diet and 307% greater in the "lower quality, higher GHGe" diet compared to the recommended diet. Reducing discretionary food intake would allow for small increases in emissions from core foods (in particular vegetables, dairy and grains), thereby providing a nutritional benefit at little environmental expense. Public health messages that promote healthy eating, eating to one's energy needs and improved diet quality will also contribute to lowering GHGe.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/nu8110690
Field of Research 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
1111 Nutrition And Dietetics
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, the authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30102911

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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