Dietary Guidelines in These Six Countries Are a Win-Win-Win for Nutrition, Environment, and Animals


The national dietary guidelines in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Japan, Portugal, and Slovenia benefit nutrition, environment and animal welfare, Leiden environmental scientists write in the journal One Earth.

However, the national guidelines of other countries face trade-offs, negatively impacting at least one of these three factors. ‘Win-win-wins are possible for dietary changes, but rarely realised,’ says lead author Laura Scherer.

National dietary guidelines seldom take into account sustainability. Still, if people would follow their national guidelines that would greatly affect the environment and animal welfare, as well as nutritional value. Therefore, for the first time, Leiden researchers studied the effects of following national guidelines on these three aspects. They also compared the effects of following the guidelines with those of average diets consumed. They found that many countries face trade-offs between these aspects, for instance, benefiting nutritional value but harming the environment and animal welfare.

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