This study evaluates the relationship between environmental impacts and diet quality through several environmental and nutritional indicators, using data from over 1400 participants across seven European countries in the Food4Me study. Comparisons of environmental impacts and dietary quality were evaluated across country, gender groups, and dietary patterns. While there was clear variability within the different subsets, there were large differences observed in both dietary quality and environmental impacts between cultures, genders, and dietary patterns. Individuals abstaining from red meat consistently had lower impacts in combination with lower consumption of harmful nutrients (saturated fats, sodium, and sugars) while maintaining average intake of beneficial nutrients. A 'best practice' diet with low impacts, adequate nutrient intake, and low saturated fats, sodium, and sugars, was constructed from the sample and used as a benchmark. Recorded eating patterns were compared to this recommended diet. On average, intakes of sweets, meats, and drinks should be decreased and intakes of vegetables and cereals increased, at varying rates depending on country and gender. However, the study shows a large spread of eating patterns and recommendations for lowering environmental impacts and increasing nutritional quality vary greatly among individuals.
University College Dublin ->