Greenhouse Gas Emissions and blue water use of dutch diets and its association with health

Reina E. Vellinga*, Mirjam van de Kamp, Ido B. Toxopeus, Caroline T.M. van Rossum, Elias de Valk, Sander Biesbroek, Anne Hollander, Elisabeth H.M. Temme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Food consumption patterns affect the environment as well as public health, and monitoring is needed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the Dutch food consumption patterns for environmental (greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and blue water use) and health aspects (Dutch Healthy Diet index 2015), according to age, gender, and consumption moments. Food consumption data for 4313 Dutch participants aged 1 to 79 years were assessed in 2012 to 2016, by two non-consecutive 24-h recalls. The environmental impact of foods was quantified using a life cycle assessment for, e.g., indicators of GHGemissions and blue water use. The healthiness of diet, operationalized by the Dutch Healthy Diet index 2015, was assessed for 2078 adults aged ≥19 years. The average daily diet in the Netherlands was associated with 5.0 ± 2.0 kg CO2-equivalents of GHG emissions and 0.14 ± 0.08 m3 of blue water use. Meat, dairy and non-alcoholic beverages contributed most to GHG emissions, and non-alcoholic beverages, fruits, and meat to blue water use. More healthy diets were associated with a lower GHG emission and higher blue water use. Different associations of environmental indicators (GHG emissions and blue water use) with health aspects of diets need to be considered when aligning diets for health and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6027
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Blue water use
  • Diet quality
  • Environmental impact
  • Food consumption
  • Greenhouse gas emission
  • Life cycle assessment


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