Drivers of global warming potential and diet quality of Swiss food consumption

A.M. Frehner, H.H.E. van Zanten, Christian Schader, I.J.M. de Boer, Adrian Muller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract

Abstract

Purpose: Although diets are an important link between human health and the environment,knowledge on differences between dietary habits of population subgroups and how these link to differences in diet quality and environmental impacts is still limited. We therefore aim to investigate how different dietary habits in Switzerland perform with regard to human health and global warming potential, and which sociodemographic and lifestyle factors can be linked to different impact levels. Methods: We calculated the global warming potential and a diet quality score, the Alternate Healthy Eating Index, of recent dietary recall data from Switzerland (menuCH). The dietary recall data contained foods consumed during the last 24 hours as well as sociodemographic and lifestyle factors of the participants. Using multiple linear regression, we then calculated associations between sociodemographic and lifestyle factors and food choices on the one hand, and associations between sociodemographic and lifestyle factors and impacts on the other hand. Results of these regressions were then combined to shed light on how sociodemographic and lifestyle factors can be linked with impact levels via food choices.Results and discussion: Our results showed that performance of diet quality and global warming potential was particularly distinctive for age groups, language regions, nationalities, and smoking status, while education and income group seemed less relevant. Furthermore, some food groups offer synergies between diet quality and global warming potential when being reduced, such as different types of meat, dairy, and eggs. Thus, these food groups should be recommended and consumed with care, and their intake limited to the extent that they provide substantial added value in terms of nutrients provided. Other food groups, such as whole grains, pulses, nuts and seeds, vegetables, and fruits contribute to an improved diet quality, while having relatively low global warming impact intensities. Conclusions: We can thus conclude that increases of these latter food groups are synergistic for diet quality and global warming potential. Sociodemographic and lifestyle factors that reveal levels with increased consumption values of these food groups are language region, age group, civil status, and education. These insights can help to target actions for improvements of the performance of diets with regard to diet quality and global warming potential more effectively
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication12th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food LCA
Subtitle of host publicationTowards Sustainable Agri - Food Systems
EditorsU. Eberle, S. Smetana, U. Bos
PublisherGerman Institue of Food Technologies (DIL
Pages263-268
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9783000676048
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2020
EventLCA Food 2020 Conference -
Duration: 13 Oct 202016 Oct 2020

Conference

ConferenceLCA Food 2020 Conference
Period13/10/2016/10/20

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