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Climate impact from diet in relation to background and sociodemographic characteristics in the Vasterbotten Intervention Programme

Journal article
Authors Anna Strid
E. Hallstrom
Therese Hjorth
I. Johansson
B. Lindahl
U. Sonesson
Anna Winkvist
Ena Huseinovic
Published in Public Health Nutrition
Volume 22
Issue 17
Pages 3288-3297
ISSN 1368-9800
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Pages 3288-3297
Language en
Keywords Climate impact, Sociodemographic factors, Carbon dioxide equivalents, Food, Diet, greenhouse-gas emissions, food, consumption, questionnaire, gender, age, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, Nutrition & Dietetics
Subject categories Environmental Health and Occupational Health, Nutrition and Dietetics


Objective: The objective of this study was to examine climate impact from diet across background and sociodemographic characteristics in a population-based cohort in northern Sweden. Design: A cross-sectional study within the Vasterbotten Intervention Programme. Dietary data from a 64-item food frequency questionnaire collected during 1996-2016 were used. Energy-adjusted greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) for all participants, expressed as kg carbon dioxide equivalents/day and 4184 kJ (1000 kcal), were estimated using data from life cycle analyses. Differences in background and sociodemographic characteristics were examined between participants with low and high GHGE from diet, respectively. The variables evaluated were age, BMI, physical activity, marital status, level of education, smoking, and residence. Setting: Vasterbotten county in northern Sweden. Participants: In total, 46 893 women and 45 766 men aged 29-65 years. Results: Differences in GHGE from diet were found across the majority of examined variables. The strongest associations were found between GHGE from diet and age, BMI, education, and residence (all P < 0 center dot 001), with the highest GHGE from diet found among women and men who were younger, had a higher BMI, higher educational level, and lived in urban areas. Conclusions: This study is one of the first to examine climate impact from diet across background and sociodemographic characteristics. The results show that climate impact from diet is associated with age, BMI, residence and educational level amongst men and women in Vasterbotten, Sweden. These results define potential target populations where public health interventions addressing a move towards more climate-friendly food choices and reduced climate impact from diet could be most effective.

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