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Nutrients. 2019 Sep 18;11(9). pii: E2248. doi: 10.3390/nu11092248.

Environmental Sustainability Perspectives of the Nordic Diet.

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Division of Infectious Diseases and Environmental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, 0213 Oslo, Norway.
Division of Infectious Diseases and Environmental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, 0213 Oslo, Norway.
National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. 2800 Lyngby, Denmark.
Swedish Food Agency, 751 26 Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Food and Nutrition, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.
Statistics Norway, 0131 Oslo, Norway.
Unit for Nutrition Research, Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Iceland and Landspitali-University Hospital, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland.


"The Nordic diet" is an umbrella term that encompasses any interpretation that combines Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDGs) with local Nordic foods. The five Nordic countries have collaborated on Nordic Nutrition Recommendations for forty years, including FBDGs, so their national guidelines are similar. The countries also share similar public health issues, including widespread nonconformity to the guidelines, although in different ways. The aim of this concept paper is to discuss environmental sustainability aspects of the Nordic diet, describe the status of and make suggestions for the inclusion of sustainability in future work on the Nordic diet. We exploit the sustainability-health synergy. A food intake more in line with the current FBDGs, which emphasises more plant-based and less animal-based foods, is necessary for high environmental sustainability. In turn, sustainability is an important motivator for health-promoting dietary shifts. Policy development requires long-term efforts. Since the Nordic diet can be considered a further development and improvement of old, traditional diets, there is huge potential to formulate a Nordic diet that benefits both human and planetary health. It is time for concerted engagement and actions-a new Nordic nutrition transition.


FBDGs; Nordic diet; environment; food systems; sustainability

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