The Spanish Dietary Guidelines: A potential tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of current dietary patterns
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AuthorBatlle Bayer, Laura; Bala Gala, Alba; García Herrero, María Isabel; Lemaire, Elodie; Song, Guobao; Aldaco García, Rubén; Fullana i Palmer, Pere
This study assesses the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and the nutritional quality of the current food consumption and losses of an average Spanish citizen, and compares them with two alternative diets: one following the Spanish dietary guidelines (The NAOS Strategy; NAOS), and another one based on the Mediterranean (MED) diet. The diet-related GHG emissions of current eating patterns would be reduced by 17% and 11%, when shifting to the NAOS and MED diets, respectively, and even more (42% and 35%) when diets' nutritional qualities are considered within the functional unit. In addition, food losses contribute 21% to diet's emissions. Our results suggest that national dietary guidelines (NDGs) can be a good policy tool, not only to lead to a healthier condition, but also to promote a shift towards a lower-carbon diets. Finally, it is recommended that life cycle-based indicators are added within the NDGs, to better communicate the environmental impacts of dietary choices, and ultimately enhance knowledge and awareness of consumers.