Healthy and sustainable diets: synergies and trade-offs

1st International Master class to broaden disciplinary thinking in agriculture, food sciences, nutrition and health to arrive at a disciplinary research perspective on healthy and sustainable diets. It aims to contribute to synergy between scientific disciplines, applied research and stakeholders along the food supply chain.

The global burden of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs, e.g. obesity, diabetes, CVD, malignancies), infectious diseases (e.g. malaria, measles) and the ‘double burden of disease’ in both Western and Low & Middle Income Countries (LMIC) call for optimizing the intake of nutrient-dense plant foods relative to animal-sourced foods. Because of the current climate concerns and the growing world population this should go hand-in-hand with reducing the environmental footprint of plant- & animal-based food production, processing and distribution systems (e.g., GHG-emissions, land use). These societal challenges are recognized by governments and food chain actors at national and global level. For research, this requires evaluation of synergies and trade-offs between health, environment and other functions of the food system. A system approach is needed, that allows for interdisciplinary collaboration and involvement of societal actors in the food chain and at various policy levels.