Nutritional and Environmental Assessment of Increasing the Content of Fruit and Vegetables in the UK Diet

Wisdom Dogbe* (Corresponding Author), Cesar Revoredo-Giha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Despite the interest in increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables in the UK, the total average consumption is still below the recommended intakes. Evidence indicates that the UK government’s “five-a-day” policy has not been effective in reaching its goal. The results of fiscal policies (e.g., subsidies) to increase fruit and vegetable consumption are uncertain due to complex substitutions done by consumers amongst overall food choice. The goal of the present study was to estimate the prices (i.e., shadow prices) at which consumers can increase their intake of fruits and vegetables by 10% (higher than that achieved by the “five-a-day” policy) without changing the overall taste of the diet (utility). We estimated the ex-ante effect of increasing the UK’s fruit and vegetable consumption by 10% on household nutrient purchases and greenhouse gas emissions. The required changes in prices were estimated by extending the model of consumer behaviour under rationing. The model combines consumption data, demand elasticities estimated from home scan data, and nutrient coefficients for 20 foods consumed in the UK. Our results suggest that to increase vegetable and fruit consumption by 10% (under the current preferences), their prices should decline by 21% and 13%, respectively. However, there is a trade-off between nutrition and environmental goals; total average household caloric purchase declined by 11 kcal, but greenhouse gas emissions increased by 0.7 CO2-eq kg/kg of food.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1076
Number of pages23
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Emissions
  • Five-a-day
  • Fruit and vegetable consumption
  • Sustainable diets

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