Dietary Choices Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Determinants and Correlates in a Sample of Adults from Eastern Germany

Liselot Koelman, Inge Huybrechts, Sander Biesbroek, Pieter van ‘t Veer, Matthias B. Schulze, Krasimira Aleksandrova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The present study estimated diet-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) and land use (LU) in a sample of adults, examined main dietary contributors of GHGE, and evaluated socio demographic, lifestyle, and wellbeing factors as potential determinants of high environmental impact. A cross-sectional design based on data collected from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)—Potsdam cohort (2010–2012) was used. Usual diet was assessed using food frequency questionnaires. Diet-related GHGE and LU were calculated using a European-average lifecycle analyses-food-item database (SHARP-ID). Information on potential determinants were collected using self-administered questionnaires. Men (n = 404) and women (n = 401) at an average age of 66.0 ± 8.4 years were included. Dietary-related energy-adjusted GHGE in men was 6.6 ± 0.9 and in women was 7.0 ± 1.1 kg CO2 eq per 2000 kcal. LU in men was 7.8 ± 1.2 and in women was 7.7 ± 1.2 m2/year per 2000 kcal. Food groups contributing to most GHGE included dairy, meat and non-alcoholic beverages. Among women, being single, having a job, being a smoker and having higher BMI were characteristics associated with higher GHGE, whereas for men these included being married, longer sleeping duration and higher BMI. Further studies are warranted to provide insights into population-specific determinants of sustainable dietary choices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3854
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • determinants
  • dietary choices
  • environmental impact
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • land use

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