Replacement of meat and dairy by plant-derived foods: estimated effects on land use, iron and SFA intakes in young Dutch adult females

E.H.M. Temme, H. van der Voet, J.T.N.M. Thissen, J. Verkaik-Kloosterman, G. van Donkersgoed, S. Nonhebel

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Objective: Reduction in the current high levels of meat and dairy consumption may contribute to environmental as well as human health. Since meat is a major source of Fe, effects on Fe intake need to be evaluated, especially in groups vulnerable to negative Fe status. In the present study we evaluated the effects of replacing meat and dairy foods with plant-based products on environmental sustainability (land requirement) and health (SFA and Fe intakes) in women. Design: Data on land requirements were derived from existing calculation methods. Food composition data were derived from the Dutch Food Composition Table 2006. Data were linked to the food consumption of young Dutch women. Land requirements and nutrient intakes were evaluated at baseline and in two scenarios in which 30% (Scenario_30 %) or 100% (Scenario_100 %) of the dairy and meat consumption was randomly replaced by the same amount of plant-based dairy- and meat-replacing foods. Setting: The Netherlands. Subjects: Three hundred and ninety-eight young Dutch females. Results: Replacement of meat and dairy by plant-based foods benefited the environment by decreasing land use. The intake of SFA decreased considerably compared with the baseline situation. On average, total Fe intake increased by 2?5 mg/d, although most of the Fe intake was from a less bioavailable source. Conclusions: Replacement of meat and dairy foods by plant-based foods reduced land use for consumption and SFA intake of young Dutch females and did no compromise total Fe intake.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1900-1907
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • consumption patterns
  • life-style
  • climate-change
  • consumers
  • health
  • diet
  • requirements
  • perspectives
  • vegetarians
  • energy

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