Comparison of the carbon footprint of different patient diets in a Spanish hospital.
Sommaire de l'article
Mitigating climate change requires management strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in any sector, including the health system. Carbon footprint calculations should play a key role in quantifying and communicating these emissions. Food is among the categories with low accuracy because the carbon footprint for food is still under development. We aimed to quantify the carbon footprint of different diets.
Average carbon footprint for a normal diet was based on detailed composition data in Juan Ramón Jiménez Hospital (Huelva, Spain). In addition, the carbon footprints of 17 other therapeutic diets were estimated using a streamlined variation of each diet published by Benidorm Clinical Hospital (Spain).
The carbon footprint was calculated for 18 hospital diets for a variety of patients. The reference menu corresponds to the normal diet provided to patients who do not have special dietary requirements. This menu has a low carbon footprint of 5.083 CO2 eq/day.
Hospital diets contribute to the carbon footprint of a hospital. The type of diet has a significant impact on the greenhouse gas emissions. A Mediterranean diet is associated with lower environmental impact than diets with more meat, in particular red meat.