Nutrition not a factor for majority choosing sustainable diets, Arla says

The Arla Foods-commissioned research finds that the carbon footprint, biodiversity, packaging and animal welfare are the top priorities for consumers looking to follow a sustainable diet.

Only a third (34%) of the 8,212 consumers surveyed in the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Germany say they associate nutrition with sustainable diets.

“It’s great that we continue to grow our awareness of how food production and our diets affect the climate and nature,”​ says Professor Judy Buttriss, public health nutritionist, on the survey results.

“However, this research shows that many people tend to overlook the other determinants of sustainable diets, especially nutrition, which has always been the fundamental purpose of food and an essential factor for our long-term physical and mental well-being.”

British Nutrition Foundation

Professor Buttriss, who was the former Director General of the British Nutrition Foundation from 2007-2021, also highlights the issue of consumers becoming ‘nutrition blind,’ stressing the need to bring nutrition back into the conversation about sustainable diets.

The concept of nutrition-blindness applies to overnutrition as well as undernutrition in which calorie-rich foods, that while satisfy sustainability criteria may be nutritionally poor, contributing to the ongoing obesity problem.

“People at risk of micronutrient deficiency might not realise it,” ​explains Lea Brader, Nutrition Scientist at Arla Foods.

“If your diet is poor, you can still get your energy from the macronutrients such as carbohydrate and fat.

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