Simultaneous optimisation of the nutritional quality and environmental sustainability of diets

C. van Dooren

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD Thesis - Research VU, graduation VU

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Abstract

Simultaneous optimisation of the nutritional quality and environmental sustainability of diets The purpose of this thesis was to explore how the nutritional quality and environmental sustainability of diets can be optimised simultaneously. This work operationalised and quantified the concept of sustainable diets, as defined by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), by using examples from the Netherlands. Given the need to redefine dietary guidelines to include health, food security and sustainability issues, quantitative ways of combining and optimising nutritional quality and environmental sustainability were developed. Such approaches increase the concreteness of dietary advice, thus enabling consumers to make dietary choices that satisfy both nutritional and sustainability requirements. Indicators Achieving simultaneous optimisation necessitates methods of measuring the nutritional quality and the environmental sustainability. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) and land use (LU) appeared to be applicable and representative indicators of the environmental sustainability of diets. In evaluating nutritional quality, the current focus is usually on negative health effects, especially those caused by sodium, saturated fats and added sugars. This thesis expanded this approach by demonstrating how positive effects can also be incorporated into measurements. Accordingly, plant proteins, essential fatty acids and dietary fibre were selected as indicators of high…
Original languageEnglish
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Vellinga, Pier, Supervisor
  • Aiking, Harry, Co-supervisor
Award date20 Mar 2018
Print ISBNs9789462998742 , 9462998744
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • sustainable diets; dietary guidelines; linear programming; quadratic programming; constraints; climate change; land use; indicators; greenhouse gas emissions; nutritional adequacy; affordable food; linear programming; historical Dutch diet
  • Mediterranean diet; New Nordic Diet; diet-quality scores; Nutrient Density Index; energy density; Health Score; nutrient-rich foods; consumer research; transition strategies.

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