Sustainable diets? Do you know what it means?

Sustainable diets “are characterized by having a low environmental impact and contributing to food and nutritional security and a healthy life for present and future generations. They protect and respect the biodiversity of ecosystems, are culturally accepted, accessible and economically fair, nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy, while optimizing natural and human resources (Capone et al, 2014).

There is a huge discrepancy between the extremes of diet. Globally, there are more than 1.5 billion obese and 1 billion malnourished people (Godfray & Garnett, 2014).

Hunger is a phenomenon that is due to the lack of calorie intake. “Hidden hunger” is a situation of nutritional absence, that is, malnutrition and occurs when there is an absence of micronutrient intake such as vitamins and minerals (Capone et al, 2014).

While some suffer from hunger, others die from overweight and nutrition-related illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In the so-called “high income countries” in addition to obesity and related diseases, there are also problems of “hidden hunger”, that is, a large number of people have one or more deficiencies about micronutrient intake (Godfray & Garnett, 2014).

In the “low income countries, on the other hand, the problem of hunger exists on a large scale, but at the same time, health problems related to increased consumption of meat, dairy products, refined oils and sugars are beginning to appear. Obesity and related illnesses are no longer exclusive to the “high income countries” (Godfray & Garnett, 2014).

Changes in consumers’ diets have an impact on their health and the environment. That is why it is necessary to review our nutritional choices in order to be able to follow a diet that is not only healthy, but also sustainable.

References:

Capone, R. Bilali, H.E. Debs, P. Cardone, G.&  Driouech, N. 2014. Food system sustainability and food security: Connecting the dots. Journal of Food Security. 2(1):13-22.

Godfray, H.C.J. Garnett, T. 2014. Food security and sustainable intensification. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 369: 20120273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2012.0273.

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