Abstract

Recent studies related the link between food consumption and impacts on environment and health. These may present variations according to the dietary patterns of different populations. This chapter assesses the impacts of six dietary patterns while emphasizing protein overconsumption and sustainability of food systems in a world where one billion people are hungry and several more suffer from conditions related to obesity. The chapter shows the nutritional disparity existent in different dietary patterns and potential to make changes. Changes in dietary patterns are an opportunity to contribute for environmental and health benefits. The analysis was based on a set of environmental indicators such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and land use demand, while providing a nutritional balance. The methodology comprehended a life cycle assessment in order to quantify the GHG emissions and the land use demand for food production. Finally, a review is made to focus on the benefits of shifting from current diet patterns to more sustainable ones, such as the Mediterranean.

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