Understanding sustainable diets: a descriptive analysis of the determinants and processes that influence diets and their impact on health, food security, and environmental sustainability

Understanding sustainable diets: a descriptive analysis of the determinants and processes that influence diets and their impact on health, food security, and environmental sustainability

This study argues that the concept of sustainable diets presents an opportunity to advance sustainable development and work for the elimination of poverty, food and nutrition insecurity, and poor health outcomes. This study examines the determinants of sustainable diets, offers a descriptive analysis of these areas, and presents a causal model and framework from which to build. The major determinants of sustainable diets fall into five categories: 1) agriculture, 2) health, 3) sociocultural, 4) environmental, and 5) socioeconomic. The paper argues that when factors or processes are changed in 1 determinant category, such changes affect other determinant categories and, in turn, the level of ‘sustainability’ of a diet. The complex web of determinants of sustainable diets makes it challenging for policymakers to understand the benefits and considerations for promoting, processing, and consuming such diets.

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