Can diets be both healthy and sustainable? Solving the dilemma between healthy diets versus sustainable diets
Current diets are neither healthy nor sustainable. Dietary risk factors that describe unhealthy consumption patterns, such as diets low in fruits and vegetable and high in red and processed meat, are together responsible for the greatest health burden on mortality globally and in most regions. At the same time, food production is a significant driver of climate change, biodiversity loss via land-use changes, and chemical pollution of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. In addressing these challenges, a large body of literature has emerged that explores ways to reduce the environmental and health impacts of the food system, both from the consumption and the production side. Here I summarize and contextualize the current state of the literature on sustainable diets. I base this chapter on global studies on the environmental impacts of agriculture, recent reviews of the sustainable-diet literature, and meta-analyses of epidemiological studies that detail the health associations of dietary changes.