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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

From "good for people" to "good for people and planet"-Placing health and environment on equal footing when developing food-based dietary guidelines

Wood, A.; Moberg, E.; Curi-Quinto, K.; Van Rysselberge, P.; Roos, E.


Dietary guidelines are a primary tool for promoting healthier and more sustainable diets. Despite several ex-amples of dietary guidelines that consider -to various degrees -aspects of environmental sustainability, there is currently no framework that systematically incorporates environmental sustainability as a primary consider-ation. We present a five-step framework for developing environmentally sustainable dietary guidelines that would simultaneously meet nutritional requirements while staying within environmental boundaries. The steps comprise: 1) determining an average healthy diet for different population groups and criteria for healthy diets; 2) identifying relevant environmental aspects and establishing corresponding boundaries; 3) identifying systemic effects and crucial sustainability aspects; 4) altering the average diet to meet environmental goals and resolve trade-offs between environmental and nutritional goals; and 5) formulating sustainable food-based dietary guidelines. To exemplify the framework, we pilot it in the Swedish context, but it could be utilised for any other country.


Dietary guidelines; Environmental sustainability; Food systems; Framework; Sweden

Published in

Food Policy
2023, Volume: 117, article number: 102444