Healthy and Sustainable Diets
Theme leader: Professor Michelle Holdsworth
We are working to ensure that diets are sustainable and healthy. We explore ways to combine the ‘three pillars’ of social, economic and ecological sustainability. Dietary behaviours that limit overconsumption, particularly of animal foods and resource-intensive energy-dense, nutrient poor foods, are critical to ensure food and nutrition security, to lessen environmental impact and ensure dietary quality and nutritional health.
Across the theme, we undertake research in all contexts of development (low, middle and high income countries) and at all scales (local, national, international, global). We have a broad range of methodological expertise, including: dietary assessment and food consumption techniques; ethnographic and visual methods and geographical mapping of food availability.
Our research agenda includes investigating:
- The impact of environmental and climate change on food security (what food is available, accessible, utilisable and stable) including its nutritional quality and environmental footprint.
- The drivers of current dietary patterns and how these are changing in different social and geographical contexts.
- What interventions and policy can be introduced to shift population diets to be healthier and more environmentally sustainable, in the face of patterns of overconsumption and health inequalities.
- Ways of incorporating environmental sustainability into food-based dietary guidelines that address the nutritional-environmental tensions of consuming fish from sustainable sources, and reducing red meat and dairy intake.
- Developing interdisciplinary methodologies to find novel ways to explore these questions.