Affordability of sustainable diets research wins the Alpro Foundation Best Scientific Paper Award 2019.
The research demonstrates that all income groups can achieve more sustainable healthy eating patterns, however, the level and type of dietary change needed will vary depending on income
To help celebrate Earth Day 2020 today, we have released our interview with the winning author, Dr Reynolds from the Rowett Institute.
Hear Dr Reynolds explain how the UK can protect the planet through sustainable eating patterns that will not break the bank.
He demonstrated that in the UK, it was feasible for all income groups to shift their current eating habits to more sustainable patterns whilst keeping within their budgetary boundaries. In addition, the group’s modelling work focused on shifting individuals towards a realistic sustainable diet which entailed minimal deviations from their normal eating patterns.
The study adds to the mounting evidence that diets predominantly based on plant foods and with lower intakes of dairy and meat (without eliminating) are critical for both human and planetary health. If the UK population were to shift to the optimised diet recommended, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 57% would be achieved.
The research did identify two significant differences between the highest and lowest income quintiles:
- The specific food shifts needed to achieve sustainable patterns differed between groups e.g. lower income groups would need to focus on increasing wholegrains more and the types of meat and dairy food consumed differed between groups
- The deviation from current eating patterns would be significantly greater for the lower income groups.
- Thus, the authors conclude that public health messaging needs to provide more tailored advice for different income groups to make sustainable eating a reality for all.