Can healthy and sustainable dietary patterns that fit within current dutch food habits be identified?

Samantha N. Heerschop, Sander Biesbroek, Elisabeth H.M. Temme, Marga C. Ocké*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study investigated major healthy and sustainable dietary patterns in the Dutch population. Two 24-hour dietary recalls were collected in 2078 participants aged 19–79 years in the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2012–2016. Dietary patterns were identified using reduced rank regression. Predictor variables were food groups and response variables were Dutch Healthy Diet index 2015 (DHD15-index) score, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE), and blue water use. Three patterns were discovered, including a “high fruit and vegetable dietary pattern”, a “low meat dietary pattern”, and a “high dairy, low fruit juices dietary pattern”. Diets in the highest quartile of these patterns had higher DHD15-index score than the average population. However, diets of the “high fruit and vegetable dietary pattern” were associated with higher dietary GHGE (14%) and blue water use (69.2%) compared to the average population. Diets of the “low meat dietary pattern” were associated with lower GHGE (19.6%) and higher blue water use (7.7%). Concluding, the “low meat dietary pattern” was the most healthy and sustainable dietary pattern in this population. The addition of blue water use as an environmental impact indicator shows the difficulty of finding existing dietary patterns that have low environmental impact in all determinants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1176
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021


  • Acceptability
  • Blue water use
  • Dietary pattern
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduced rank regression
  • Sustainable diets


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