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Dietary environmental impacts relative to planetary boundaries for six environmental indicators – A population-based study
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Agriculture and Food.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0522-3591
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Agriculture and Food.
Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Agriculture and Food.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0086-8059
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2022 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 373, article id 133949Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The environmental impact of Swedish diets was assessed for six indicators (greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions, cropland use, nitrogen application, phosphorus application, consumptive water use and extinction rate), using self-reported food intake within two population-based cohorts of men and women, 56–96 years of age. The dietary environmental impact was assessed in relation to per capita planetary boundaries, overall and by population subgroups, addressing the relative importance of specific foods and food groups. The total average dietary impact exceeded the planetary boundaries by 1.6 to 4-fold for five of the six environmental indicators; consumptive water use did not exceed the boundaries. Comparing the highest with lowest quintiles of the population impact showed >2.5-fold differences across all environmental indicators. Of the diet's total average environmental impact, animal-based, plant-based and discretionary foods accounted for 28–83%, 8–40% and 9–37%, respectively, across the six indicators. Animal-based foods dominated the impact on GHG emissions, cropland use and nitrogen and phosphorus application, while plant-based and discretionary foods contributed more to consumptive water use and extinction rate. Environmental impact was driven predominantly by consumption of red meat, dairy, fresh fruit and coffee. The findings show major challenges in affluent countries that have to be addressed to achieving sustainable food production systems and diets. They provide guidance on critical food groups, environmental indicators and population subgroups to prioritize in future efforts to reduce the environmental impact. © 2022 The Authors

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd , 2022. Vol. 373, article id 133949
Keywords [en]
Dietary intake, Environmental impact, Genders, Life cycle assessment, Planetary boundaries, Uncertainty, Animals, Gas emissions, Greenhouse gases, Nitrogen, Nutrition, Phosphorus, Dietary intakes, Environmental indicators, Extinction rates, Gender, Greenhouse gas emissions, Planetary boundary, Use rate, Water use, Life cycle
National Category
Renewable Bioenergy Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-60150DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.133949Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85137173183OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-60150DiVA, id: diva2:1699973
Note

Funding details: Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas, 2016-00308; Funding details: Vetenskapsrådet, VR, 2017-00644; Funding details: Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet, SLU; Funding text 1: The authors want to acknowledge Emma Moberg at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences for providing LCA data on specific foods. Petra Forsblad at RISE is acknowledged for the assistance in graphical illustration. This work was supported by FORMAS: The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (grant number 2016-00308 ), whose support is greatly acknowledged. We recognize the National Research Infrastructure SIMPLER supported by the Swedish Research Council (grant number 2017-00644 ) for the use of databases from the Swedish Mammography Cohort and the Cohort of Swedish Men.; Funding text 2: The authors want to acknowledge Emma Moberg at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences for providing LCA data on specific foods. Petra Forsblad at RISE is acknowledged for the assistance in graphical illustration. This work was supported by FORMAS: The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (grant number 2016-00308), whose support is greatly acknowledged. We recognize the National Research Infrastructure SIMPLER supported by the Swedish Research Council (grant number 2017-00644) for the use of databases from the Swedish Mammography Cohort and the Cohort of Swedish Men.

Available from: 2022-09-29 Created: 2022-09-29 Last updated: 2023-06-08Bibliographically approved

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Hallström, ElinorAhlgren, SerinaSonesson, Ulf

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