Achieving dietary recommendations and reducing greenhouse gas emissions

modelling diets to minimise the change from current intakes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background
Average population dietary intakes do not reflect the wide diversity of dietary patterns across the population. It is recognised that most people in the UK do not meet dietary recommendations and have diets with a high environmental impact, but changing dietary habits has proved very difficult. The purpose of this study was to investigate the diversity in dietary changes needed to achieve a healthy diet and a healthy diet with lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) (referred to as a sustainable diet) by taking into account each individual’s current diet and then minimising the changes they need to make.

Methods
Linear programming was used to construct two new diets for each adult in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (n = 1491) by minimising the changes to their current intake. Stepwise changes were applied until (i) dietary recommendations were achieved and (ii) dietary recommendations and a GHGE target were met. First, gradual changes (≤50 %) were made to the amount of any foods currently eaten. Second, new foods were added to the diet. Third, greater reductions (≤75 %) were made to the amount of any food currently eaten and finally, foods were removed from the diet.

Results
One person out of 1491 in the sample met all the dietary requirements based on their reported dietary intake. Only 7.5 and 4.6 % of people achieved a healthy diet and a sustainable diet, respectively, by changing the amount of any food they currently ate by up to 50 %. The majority required changes to the amount of each food eaten plus the addition of new foods. Fewer than 5 % had to remove foods they ate to meet recommendations. Sodium proved the most difficult nutrient recommendation to meet. The healthy diets and sustainable diets produced a 15 and 27 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions respectively.

Conclusions
Since healthy diets alone do not produce substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, dietary guidelines need to include recommendations for environmental sustainability. Minimising the shift from current dietary intakes is likely to make dietary change more realistic and achievable.
Original languageEnglish
Article number46
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalThe International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2016

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Gases
Diet
Food
Diet Surveys
Nutrition Policy
Nutritional Requirements
Nutrition Surveys
Feeding Behavior
Population
Sodium
Healthy Diet

Keywords

  • dietary recommendations
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • linear programming
  • sustainable diets
  • modelling

Cite this

@article{1d53241e63454789b97e52f6aa9a1214,
title = "Achieving dietary recommendations and reducing greenhouse gas emissions: modelling diets to minimise the change from current intakes",
abstract = "BackgroundAverage population dietary intakes do not reflect the wide diversity of dietary patterns across the population. It is recognised that most people in the UK do not meet dietary recommendations and have diets with a high environmental impact, but changing dietary habits has proved very difficult. The purpose of this study was to investigate the diversity in dietary changes needed to achieve a healthy diet and a healthy diet with lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) (referred to as a sustainable diet) by taking into account each individual’s current diet and then minimising the changes they need to make.MethodsLinear programming was used to construct two new diets for each adult in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (n = 1491) by minimising the changes to their current intake. Stepwise changes were applied until (i) dietary recommendations were achieved and (ii) dietary recommendations and a GHGE target were met. First, gradual changes (≤50 {\%}) were made to the amount of any foods currently eaten. Second, new foods were added to the diet. Third, greater reductions (≤75 {\%}) were made to the amount of any food currently eaten and finally, foods were removed from the diet.ResultsOne person out of 1491 in the sample met all the dietary requirements based on their reported dietary intake. Only 7.5 and 4.6 {\%} of people achieved a healthy diet and a sustainable diet, respectively, by changing the amount of any food they currently ate by up to 50 {\%}. The majority required changes to the amount of each food eaten plus the addition of new foods. Fewer than 5 {\%} had to remove foods they ate to meet recommendations. Sodium proved the most difficult nutrient recommendation to meet. The healthy diets and sustainable diets produced a 15 and 27 {\%} reduction in greenhouse gas emissions respectively.ConclusionsSince healthy diets alone do not produce substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, dietary guidelines need to include recommendations for environmental sustainability. Minimising the shift from current dietary intakes is likely to make dietary change more realistic and achievable.",
keywords = "dietary recommendations , greenhouse gas emissions, linear programming, sustainable diets, modelling",
author = "Horgan, {Graham W.} and Amandine Perrin and Stephen Whybrow and Macdiarmid, {Jennie I.}",
note = "Acknowledgements We are grateful to Mr Hubert Ehlert for extending the work on the coding for the linear programming and to Mrs Jennifer Loe for preparing the dataset matching the food consumption data with the GHGE data. Funding This work was supported as part of the research programme funded by the Scottish Government Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division [RESAS].",
year = "2016",
month = "4",
day = "7",
doi = "10.1186/s12966-016-0370-1",
language = "English",
volume = "13",
pages = "1--11",
journal = "The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity",
issn = "1479-5868",
publisher = "BioMed Central",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Achieving dietary recommendations and reducing greenhouse gas emissions

T2 - modelling diets to minimise the change from current intakes

AU - Horgan, Graham W.

AU - Perrin, Amandine

AU - Whybrow, Stephen

AU - Macdiarmid, Jennie I.

N1 - Acknowledgements We are grateful to Mr Hubert Ehlert for extending the work on the coding for the linear programming and to Mrs Jennifer Loe for preparing the dataset matching the food consumption data with the GHGE data. Funding This work was supported as part of the research programme funded by the Scottish Government Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division [RESAS].

PY - 2016/4/7

Y1 - 2016/4/7

N2 - BackgroundAverage population dietary intakes do not reflect the wide diversity of dietary patterns across the population. It is recognised that most people in the UK do not meet dietary recommendations and have diets with a high environmental impact, but changing dietary habits has proved very difficult. The purpose of this study was to investigate the diversity in dietary changes needed to achieve a healthy diet and a healthy diet with lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) (referred to as a sustainable diet) by taking into account each individual’s current diet and then minimising the changes they need to make.MethodsLinear programming was used to construct two new diets for each adult in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (n = 1491) by minimising the changes to their current intake. Stepwise changes were applied until (i) dietary recommendations were achieved and (ii) dietary recommendations and a GHGE target were met. First, gradual changes (≤50 %) were made to the amount of any foods currently eaten. Second, new foods were added to the diet. Third, greater reductions (≤75 %) were made to the amount of any food currently eaten and finally, foods were removed from the diet.ResultsOne person out of 1491 in the sample met all the dietary requirements based on their reported dietary intake. Only 7.5 and 4.6 % of people achieved a healthy diet and a sustainable diet, respectively, by changing the amount of any food they currently ate by up to 50 %. The majority required changes to the amount of each food eaten plus the addition of new foods. Fewer than 5 % had to remove foods they ate to meet recommendations. Sodium proved the most difficult nutrient recommendation to meet. The healthy diets and sustainable diets produced a 15 and 27 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions respectively.ConclusionsSince healthy diets alone do not produce substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, dietary guidelines need to include recommendations for environmental sustainability. Minimising the shift from current dietary intakes is likely to make dietary change more realistic and achievable.

AB - BackgroundAverage population dietary intakes do not reflect the wide diversity of dietary patterns across the population. It is recognised that most people in the UK do not meet dietary recommendations and have diets with a high environmental impact, but changing dietary habits has proved very difficult. The purpose of this study was to investigate the diversity in dietary changes needed to achieve a healthy diet and a healthy diet with lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) (referred to as a sustainable diet) by taking into account each individual’s current diet and then minimising the changes they need to make.MethodsLinear programming was used to construct two new diets for each adult in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (n = 1491) by minimising the changes to their current intake. Stepwise changes were applied until (i) dietary recommendations were achieved and (ii) dietary recommendations and a GHGE target were met. First, gradual changes (≤50 %) were made to the amount of any foods currently eaten. Second, new foods were added to the diet. Third, greater reductions (≤75 %) were made to the amount of any food currently eaten and finally, foods were removed from the diet.ResultsOne person out of 1491 in the sample met all the dietary requirements based on their reported dietary intake. Only 7.5 and 4.6 % of people achieved a healthy diet and a sustainable diet, respectively, by changing the amount of any food they currently ate by up to 50 %. The majority required changes to the amount of each food eaten plus the addition of new foods. Fewer than 5 % had to remove foods they ate to meet recommendations. Sodium proved the most difficult nutrient recommendation to meet. The healthy diets and sustainable diets produced a 15 and 27 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions respectively.ConclusionsSince healthy diets alone do not produce substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, dietary guidelines need to include recommendations for environmental sustainability. Minimising the shift from current dietary intakes is likely to make dietary change more realistic and achievable.

KW - dietary recommendations

KW - greenhouse gas emissions

KW - linear programming

KW - sustainable diets

KW - modelling

U2 - 10.1186/s12966-016-0370-1

DO - 10.1186/s12966-016-0370-1

M3 - Article

VL - 13

SP - 1

EP - 11

JO - The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

JF - The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

SN - 1479-5868

M1 - 46

ER -