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This study examines secular changes in diet-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) in younger and older Swedish adults, since the turn of this century.
Two cross-sectional health examination surveys were conducted in 2001–2004 (T1) and 2014–2018 (T2). At both times, an eighty-six-item FFQ was embedded in the survey. From the food frequencies and age-standardised portion sizes, GHGE estimates (kg CO2e/year) were calculated. GHGE was modelled as a function of time period and covariates, for five distinct age groups.
The municipality of Gothenburg, in western Sweden.
Women and men aged 25–34, 35–44, 45–54, 55–64 and 65–75 years were randomly selected from the population registry and recruited for examinations. After exclusion of participants with incomplete dietary data, the analytic sample consisted of 2569 individuals at T1 and 2119 at T2.
Lower dietary GHGE scores were observed at T2 compared with T1, in each age group, adjusting for sex, BMI and education. The largest differences in GHGE were observed in the youngest age group (approximately 30 % reduction). Decreasing trends in GHGE from animal-based foods were observed at all ages and were accompanied by smaller increases from plant-based sources in younger groups only. At all ages, GHGE from discretionary foods decreased, and prevalence of overweight remained stable.
Optimal dietary trends should support both human health and planetary health. Our results suggest that Swedish adults have moved in this direction, e.g. through less intake of red meat products and stable weight status.
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