Browsing by Subject "sustainable diets"

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  • Mazac, Rachel; Renwick, Kerry; Seed, Barbara; Black, Jennifer L. (2021)
    International organizations, governments, researchers, and activists have proposed the need for deeper integration of sustainability considerations in national food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs). Yet, as recent scholarship advances the conversation, questions remain around how to effectively frame and address the interconnectedness of multiple sustainability domains. Little systematic analysis has evaluated how current FBDGs have integrated complex messages about socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable consumption practices with nutrition and health messages. This study had two nested objectives: (i) to examine the validity of an existing sustainable diets framework by assessing how sustainability concepts have been framed and included in national FBDGs available from 2011 to 2019 and (ii) to describe a novel analysis approach that augments an existing framework which integrates sustainability domains and can be adapted for use by future FBDGs. A qualitative content analysis was used to examine sustainability concepts found in 12 FBDGs and supporting documents available in English that were developed for use in 16 countries across Europe, North and South America, and Asia as of 2019-from a global review of those published prior to 2016 and gray literature review of publications between 2016 and 2019. Health domains were the primary frame found across the FBDGs examined, but documents also commonly incorporated agricultural, sociocultural, and economic sustainability principles. Analyzed documents were used to adapt an existing policy analysis framework into a "Sustainability in FBDGs Framework." This proposed framework contributes a novel analysis approach and has five core domains that are interconnected: health and nutrition, food security and agriculture, markets and value chains, sociocultural and political, and environment and ecosystems. This study adds to the growing body of literature related to sustainable food systems and dietary guidelines by presenting how sustainability framing in FBDGs can be used to further develop a comprehensive framework for integrating sustainability domains. While this project helps to validate previous work, further analyses of FBDGs which have emerged since this study and those not available in English are needed to improve the guidance approach described here and for assessing the incorporation of sustainability domains in future FBDGs. This work is useful in informing processes for policy developers to integrate sustainability considerations into their national FBDGs.
  • Bäck, Sari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Background: The EAT-Lancet Commission proposed a healthy dietary pattern from environmentally sustainable food production systems to guide food system transformation. The EAT-Lancet reference diet comprises mass-based food consumption targets (both point estimates and ranges) for different food groups. Baseline assessments are required to inform the planning of the national food system transformation. Therefore, it is important to identify gaps between the targets and local food consumption. Objectives: The present study aimed to assess the current state of Finnish pre-schoolers’ diet by comparison with the reference diet’s food group level targets. Specifically, the Finnish pre-schoolers’ food consumption was estimated in the food groups of the reference diet. Methods: Data from 807 children (3- to 6-year-olds, 48% girls), were collected in the Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools (DAGIS) cross-sectional survey in 2015–2016. Food records, covering from one up to five complete days, were kept by parents and pre-school personnel. Detailed information on foods, such as ingredients of composite dishes and product names for packed foods were recorded. Food record data were decomposed into ingredients by AivoDiet dietary software. Industrial products, such as sausages and biscuits, were manually decomposed into ingredients by estimating the shares of ingredients using product information available on a retailer’s online database and food manufacturers’ webpages. Formulas were developed to calculate the consumption of added sugars. The consumption of dairy products was converted into milk equivalents using factors from the literature. Finally, the ingredients were manually classified into the reference diet’s food groups. The target amounts were set (separately for two age groups) in grams by proportioning the published target amounts (that assume a 2500 kcal diet) to the children’s average reported energy intake. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) method was used to calculate the daily average food consumption and the proportion of children who met targets in each food group. Results: Compared to the point estimate targets, on average, the daily food consumption for 3- to 4-year-olds (n 462) and 5- to 6-year-olds (n 345) differed for vegetables (60% of the target in both age groups); legumes and nuts (below a tenth of the target); whole grains (less than a third of the target); red meat (approximately 5.5 times the target); dairy foods (approximately 5 times the target); tubers (over 2.5 times the target) and added sugar (close to double of the target). Discussion: To enable comparison with the EAT-Lancet reference diet’s food group level targets, an approach for disaggregating children’s food record data was developed. To achieve a more sustainable diet and comply with the EAT-Lancet targets, the Finnish pre-schoolers would need to consume more plant-based foods i.e. vegetables, legumes and nuts, and whole grains, which should replace the refined grains. The consumption of animal proteins, especially red meat and dairy products, would need to be decreased, as well as the consumption of tubers (mainly potato) and added sugar.
  • Mazac, Rachel; Tuomisto, Hanna L. (2020)
    This article examines how future diets could reduce the environmental impacts of food systems, and thus, enable movement into the post-Anthropocene. Such non-anthropocentric diets are proposed to address global food systems challenges inherent in the current geological epoch known as the Anthropocene-a period when human activity is the dominant cause of environmental change. Using non-anthropocentric indigenous worldviews and object-oriented ecosophy, the article discusses changes in ontologies around diets to consider choices made in the present for sustainable future food systems. This article conceptually addresses, how can pre-Anthropocene ontologies guide an exit of current approaches to diets? Considering temporality, what post-Anthropocene ontologies are possible in future diets for sustainable food systems? Through the ontological positions defining three distinct temporalities, considerations for guiding future diets in(to) the post-Anthropocene are proposed. Indigenous ontologies are presented as pre-Anthropocene examples that depict humans and non-humans in relational diets. Underlying Anthropocene ontologies define current unsustainable diets. These ontologies are described to present the context for the food systems challenges this article aims to address. A post-Anthropocene illustration then employs object-oriented ecosophy along with indigenous ontologies as theoretical foundations for shifting from the dominant neoliberal paradigm in current ontologies. Ontologically-based dietary guidelines for the post-Anthropocene diet present the ontological turns, consideration of temporality, and outline technological orientations proposed for sustainable future food systems. This is a novel attempt to integrate non-anthropocentric theories to suggest possible futures for human diets in order to exit the Anthropocene epoch. These non-anthropocentric ontologies demonstrate how temporal considerations and relational worldviews can be guidelines for transforming diets to address public health concerns, the environmental crisis, and socioeconomic challenges.