Approaches and tools for understanding and adopting healthy sustainable diets

Infographic – Sustainable diets : complementary tools for researchers

As defined by FAO, sustainable diets “are those diets with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations. Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable; nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy; while optimizing natural and human resources.” Multiple tools and methodologies are used by researchers to propose diets that strive to consider the different dimensions of sustainability. These approaches present methodological variations and distinct objectives. Some observe and compare current consumption patterns to identify areas for improvement. Others use simulation to design theoretical diets and mathematically optimise current regimes to ensure sustainability. The results of these different tools must therefore be interpreted with care. These approaches are complementary when it comes to developing policies to encourage sustainable diets.