Adopting Sustainable Dietary Patterns: Effects of Food Labeling, Food Choices, and Eating Behaviors

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 June 2024 | Viewed by 11989

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Regulatory Centre of Excellence, Protein Industries Canada, 200-1965 Broad Street, Regina, SK S4P 1Y1, Canada
Interests: sustainable dietary patterns; decreased risk of disease; effects of regulation and policy on dietary choices; consumer insights
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The four domains of sustainability are health, the environment, sociocultural factors, and economics. Food systems are undergoing a renaissance and re-positioning their value as proponents of sustainable dietary patterns. Many of these efforts focus on providing consumers with the information required to make sustainable food choices. These domains increasingly underpin the strategic development of food policies and dietary guidelines. Industry stakeholders are incorporating measures of sustainability into supply chain and innovation pipelines so that they can be leveraged as salient factors of differentiation to consumers. At the same time, regulatory and policy efforts aim to facilitate sustainable food systems, while mitigating risks that consumers will be misled by information lacking scientific rigor and substantiation. 

This Special Issue will examine the consumer–food interface within the context of sustainable dietary patterns. Studies will focus on labeling and other tools that can affect dietary choice and/or eating behaviors that enhance one or more domains of sustainable diets. Random clinical trials, narrative reviews, systematic reviews with and without meta-analyses, and commentaries are welcomed as submissions for this issue. Relevant topics include the modeling effects of labeling strategies on the sustainability metrics of dietary patterns; changes in the retail positioning of food categories over time; behavioral strategies that affect dietary patterns; the analysis of regulatory and policy tools; and consumer insights.  However, other relevant topics that provide new and innovative data, discussion, and/or highlight challenges are also welcome.

Dr. Christopher P. F. Marinangeli
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • labeling
  • sustainability
  • consumer behavior
  • nutrition
  • health
  • environment
  • sociocultural
  • economics

Published Papers (9 papers)

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20 pages, 1390 KiB  
Article
Building Capacity and Advancing Regulatory Measures to Improve Food Environments in the Region of the Americas
by Carmen Levis, Carolina Mejía Toro, Sofía Rincón Gallardo Patiño, Victor Eduardo Villalobos-Daniel, Carla Spinillo and Fabio da Silva Gomes
Nutrients 2024, 16(8), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16081202 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 410
Abstract
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the main cause of death globally (70%) and in the Region of the Americas (80%), and poor diets are a leading driver of NCDs. In response, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) introduced a set of [...] Read more.
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the main cause of death globally (70%) and in the Region of the Americas (80%), and poor diets are a leading driver of NCDs. In response, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) introduced a set of evidence-based regulatory measures to help countries improve diets through the reduced consumption of processed and ultra-processed foods. This paper aims to describe the needs of and propose actions for key actors to advance these measures. A workshop was designed to assess member states’ regulatory capacity. A thematic analysis was conducted to analyze regional needs, successes and challenges. Thereafter, the Government Capacity-Building Framework for the prevention and control of NCDs was used to examine findings. The findings were organized in two sets: (i) PAHO/WHO actions to support member states and (ii) key actors’ actions to advance regulatory policies. The results show notable regulatory progress across the Region of the Americas. However, progress differs between countries, with opportunities to strengthen measures in most countries, mainly in conflict of interest management. The results identified important actions to strengthen the regulatory capacity of PAHO/WHO member states. To maximize momentum for these actions, timelines must be identified, and political commitment can be boosted by applying human rights-based and food system-wide approaches. Full article
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15 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
Impact of Plant Protein Intakes on Nutrient Adequacy in the US
by Victor L. Fulgoni III, Sanjiv Agarwal, Christopher P. F. Marinangeli and Kevin Miller
Nutrients 2024, 16(8), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16081158 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1183
Abstract
There is an increasing interest in plant-based diets and higher levels of plant proteins due to rising concerns around health and environmental sustainability issues. We determined the effects of increasing quartiles of plant protein in the diet on nutrient adequacy using a large [...] Read more.
There is an increasing interest in plant-based diets and higher levels of plant proteins due to rising concerns around health and environmental sustainability issues. We determined the effects of increasing quartiles of plant protein in the diet on nutrient adequacy using a large nationally representative observational dataset. Twenty-four-hour dietary-recall data from NHANES 2013–2018 from 19,493 participants aged 9+ years were used to assess nutrient intakes. Nutritional adequacy was assessed by estimating the percentage of the population with intakes below the EAR or above the AI. A quartile trend was assessed using regression and the significance was set at Pquartile trend < 0.05. With increasing quartiles of plant protein, the adequacy decreased for calcium, potassium, and vitamin D and increased for copper and magnesium for adolescents. Among the adults aged 19–50 years, the adequacy decreased for protein, choline, selenium, vitamin B12, and zinc and increased for copper, folate, iron, magnesium, thiamin, and vitamin C with increasing quartiles of plant protein. The adequacy for calcium, vitamin A, and zinc decreased and it increased for copper, folate, magnesium, thiamin, and vitamin C with increasing quartiles of plant protein among adults aged 51+ years. The results indicate that diets of mixed protein sources (from both animals and plants) are the most nutritionally adequate. Full article
18 pages, 772 KiB  
Article
Development and Validation of the Meiji Nutritional Profiling System (Meiji NPS) to Address Dietary Needs of Adults and Older Adults in Japan
by Ryota Wakayama, Adam Drewnowski, Tomohito Horimoto, Yoshie Saito, Tao Yu, Takao Suzuki and Satoshi Takasugi
Nutrients 2024, 16(7), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16070936 - 24 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1006
Abstract
This study introduces the Meiji Nutritional Profiling System (Meiji NPS), which was specifically designed to respond to age-related shifts in nutrient requirements among Japanese adults (<65 years old) and older adults (≥65 years old). Japan has one of the most aged societies in [...] Read more.
This study introduces the Meiji Nutritional Profiling System (Meiji NPS), which was specifically designed to respond to age-related shifts in nutrient requirements among Japanese adults (<65 years old) and older adults (≥65 years old). Japan has one of the most aged societies in the world. The health issues of interest are malnutrition and lifestyle-related diseases among adults and frailty among older adults. Two versions of the NPS were developed based on nutrients to encourage (protein, dietary fibers, calcium, iron, and vitamin D), food groups to encourage (fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and dairy), and nutrients to limit (energy, saturated fatty acids, sugars, and salt equivalents). The Meiji NPS for older adults did not include iron or saturated fatty acids. The algorithms were based on the Nutrient-Rich Foods Index (NRF). The convergent validity between the Meiji NPS and the existing NPSs for the same foods was confirmed using Spearman’s correlation coefficients (NRF: r = 0.67 for adults and r = 0.60 for older adults; Health Star Rating: r = 0.64 for adults and r = 0.61 for older adults). The Meiji NPS may be useful for nutritional evaluation and reformulation of food products, tailored to adults and older adults to ameliorate health issues in Japan. Full article
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11 pages, 1509 KiB  
Article
Front-of-Package-Label-Style Health Logos on Menus—Do Canadian Consumers Really Care about Menu Health Logos?
by Yahan Yang, Sylvain Charlebois and Janet Music
Nutrients 2024, 16(4), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16040545 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 833
Abstract
Public health policies have been widely utilized to improve population nutrition, such as the newly announced front-of-pack labels (FOPLs) that will be applied to Canadian prepackaged foods to help consumers make healthier selections. However, research on similar health logos in the food service [...] Read more.
Public health policies have been widely utilized to improve population nutrition, such as the newly announced front-of-pack labels (FOPLs) that will be applied to Canadian prepackaged foods to help consumers make healthier selections. However, research on similar health logos in the food service sector has been limited. This study explores the potential application of FOPL-style health logos in the food service sector and its impact on consumer behaviors. A survey was conducted among 1070 Canadians to assess their awareness, perception, and support for health logos on restaurant menus. The results indicate that while participants value healthy food options when dining out, taste, price, and convenience remain the primary factors influencing their choices. Most participants were unaware of existing FOPL policies and demonstrated mixed responses regarding the influence of similar health logos on their restaurant selection. However, a majority expressed a desire to see FOPL-style health logos on menus, and nutrient profile ratings and logos indicating nutrient limitations or encouragements were listed as preferred health logos. Notably, females indicated higher supportiveness for FOPL-style health logos on menus and individuals with food allergies exhibited higher agreement in the likelihood of eating at a restaurant displaying labels. Additionally, findings revealed that FOPL-style health logos alone may not significantly deter consumers from purchasing labelled menu items, especially if price is affected. Overall, this study highlights the need for further understanding consumer perceptions to effectively develop and implement FOPL initiatives in the food service sector. Full article
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18 pages, 1479 KiB  
Article
US Adults’ Perceptions, Beliefs, and Behaviors towards Plant-Rich Dietary Patterns and Practices: International Food Information Council Food and Health Survey Insights, 2012–2022
by Katherine Consavage Stanley, Valisa E. Hedrick, Elena Serrano, Adrienne Holz and Vivica I. Kraak
Nutrients 2023, 15(23), 4990; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15234990 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 3378
Abstract
Expert groups recommend that populations adopt dietary patterns higher in whole, plant-based foods and lower in red and processed meat as a high-impact climate action. Yet, there is limited understanding of populations’ willingness to adopt plant-rich dietary patterns. This study examined United States [...] Read more.
Expert groups recommend that populations adopt dietary patterns higher in whole, plant-based foods and lower in red and processed meat as a high-impact climate action. Yet, there is limited understanding of populations’ willingness to adopt plant-rich dietary patterns. This study examined United States (US) adults’ perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors towards plant-rich dietary patterns and practices over a decade. Fifteen questions from the International Food Information Council’s Food and Health Surveys (2012–2022) were analyzed across four sustainability domains (i.e., human health, environmental, social, and economic domains). Most respondents had favorable perceptions of environmentally sustainable food and beverages, but sustainability influenced less than half of consumers’ purchase decisions. Plant-rich dietary pattern adherence increased across survey years (12.1% [2019] to 25.8% [2022], p < 0.001). One-quarter (28.1%) of Americans reported reducing their red meat intake over 12 months (2020–2022). Yet, another 15.5% reported greater red meat intake, and 18.8% reported greater plant-based meat alternative (PBMA) intake over 12 months. The percentage of respondents who reported greater red meat and PBMA consumption in the previous 12 months significantly increased across the years surveyed (2020–2022, p < 0.05). IFIC Survey findings highlight growing US consumer awareness of health, environmental, and social sustainability but low adoption of plant-rich dietary patterns and practices. Government leadership and coordinated actions by health professionals, civil society, and businesses are needed to educate and incentivize Americans to adopt plant-rich dietary behaviors, and greater industry transparency is needed to show how food and beverage products support human and planetary health. Full article
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0 pages, 2439 KiB  
Article
Plant-Based Dietary Indices in Relation to Nutrient and Food Group Intakes in Preschool-Aged Children
by Patricia F. C. Acosta, Olivia A. Landon, Zachary J. Ribau, Jess Haines, David W. L. Ma, Alison M. Duncan and on behalf of the Guelph Family Health Study
Nutrients 2023, 15(21), 4617; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15214617 - 31 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1163 | Correction
Abstract
Dietary guidance promotes plant-based foods, yet minimal research has examined intake in children. This study examined plant-based food intake in preschool-aged children using plant-based dietary index (PDI) metrics and related these metrics to nutrient and food group intakes. Dietary data were collected from [...] Read more.
Dietary guidance promotes plant-based foods, yet minimal research has examined intake in children. This study examined plant-based food intake in preschool-aged children using plant-based dietary index (PDI) metrics and related these metrics to nutrient and food group intakes. Dietary data were collected from preschool-aged children (n = 283, 3.45 ± 1.22 years) from the Guelph Family Health Study at baseline using the Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Assessment Tool. Food intake servings were assigned to 16 food groups for calculation of overall PDI (oPDI), healthful PDI (hPDI), and less healthful (lhPDI) scores and summarized into tertiles for energy-adjusted comparisons. For oPDI, participants in the highest vs. lowest tertile had higher intakes of nutrients and food groups to encourage (e.g., dietary fiber, fruits) as well as lower intakes of nutrients to encourage (e.g., calcium, vitamin D). For hPDI, participants in the highest vs. lowest tertile had higher intakes of nutrients and food groups to encourage and lower intakes of those to limit (e.g., saturated fat, sweets and desserts). For lhPDI, participants in the highest vs. lowest tertile had higher intakes of nutrients and food groups to limit and lower intakes of those to encourage. These results can inform dietetic practice for dietary guidance that promotes plant-based foods in children. Full article
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17 pages, 1563 KiB  
Article
Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with Rural Residents’ Dietary Diversity and Dietary Pattern: A Cross-Sectional Study in Pingnan, China
by Lingling Zhang, Huajing Chang, Yating Chen, Wenqian Ruan, Longhua Cai, Fang Song and Xiaojun Liu
Nutrients 2023, 15(13), 2955; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15132955 - 29 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1120
Abstract
There is limited evidence regarding the factors correlated with dietary diversity (DD) and dietary pattern (DP) in rural residents of China. This study aims to identify the DD and DP of rural residents and their association with socio-demographic factors. A cross-sectional survey was [...] Read more.
There is limited evidence regarding the factors correlated with dietary diversity (DD) and dietary pattern (DP) in rural residents of China. This study aims to identify the DD and DP of rural residents and their association with socio-demographic factors. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Pingnan, China. The Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) was applied to evaluate dietary intake. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to identify patterns of six food varieties, including vegetables–fruits, red meat, aquatic products, eggs, milk, and beans–nuts. Generalized linear models and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine factors associated with the DD and DP. Three DPs were detected by LCA, namely “healthy” DP (47.94%), “traditional” DP (33.94%), and “meat/animal protein” DP (18.11%). Females exhibited lower DD (β = −0.23, p = 0.003) and were more likely to adhere to “traditional” DP (OR = 1.46, p = 0.039) and “meat/animal protein” DP (OR = 2.02, p < 0.001). Higher educational levels and annual household income (AHI) were positively associated with higher DD (p < 0.05) and less likely to have “traditional” DP and “meat/animal protein” DP (p < 0.05). Non-obese people exhibited higher DD (β = 0.15, p = 0.020) and were less likely to have “meat/animal protein” DP (OR = 0.59, p = 0.001). Our study reveals that females, those with lower educational levels and AHI, and obese people are more likely to have a lower DD and are more likely to adhere to “traditional” DP and “meat/animal protein” DP. The local, regional, and even national performance of specific diet-related health promotion measures and interventions must target these vulnerable populations to improve a healthier DD and DP. Full article
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17 pages, 367 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Impact of Sociodemographic Characteristics and Health Literacy on Adherence to Dietary Recommendations and Food Literacy
by Alina Ioana Forray, Mădălina Adina Coman, Răzvan Mircea Cherecheș and Cristina Maria Borzan
Nutrients 2023, 15(13), 2853; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15132853 - 23 Jun 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1879
Abstract
This study investigates food literacy-related abilities and adherence to dietary recommendations in relation to sociodemographic characteristics and health-related features (health literacy, self-rated health and morbidity) in the North-Western region of Romania. This is a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data collected in 2019 from [...] Read more.
This study investigates food literacy-related abilities and adherence to dietary recommendations in relation to sociodemographic characteristics and health-related features (health literacy, self-rated health and morbidity) in the North-Western region of Romania. This is a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data collected in 2019 from a representative and randomised sample of 1572 individuals. A questionnaire was employed to record participants’ sociodemographic characteristics, food-related and health-related features. Most participants were non-adherent to dietary recommendations for fruit and vegetables (83.5%), fish and seafood (61.3%), and water intake (67.9%). However, most participants reported an adequate ability to understand the connection between nutrition and health (89.1%), to distinguish between healthy and less healthy options (84.4%), and to acquire nutrition information (75.6%). Non-adherence to dietary recommendations and low food literacy abilities were more prevalent in disadvantaged groups (older age, rural settings, retirement or social welfare, low educational attainment, formerly married). Health literacy was negatively associated with not adhering to dietary recommendations and poor self-rated food literacy abilities. The study suggests that low socioeconomic status negatively impacts food literacy and adherence to dietary recommendations among Romanian adults. Identifying target populations to improve food-related abilities and health literacy can aid public health services in improving health outcomes. Full article

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1 pages, 140 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Acosta et al. Plant-Based Dietary Indices in Relation to Nutrient and Food Group Intakes in Preschool-Aged Children. Nutrients 2023, 15, 4617
by Patricia F. C. Acosta, Olivia A. Landon, Zachary J. Ribau, Jess Haines, David W. L. Ma, Alison M. Duncan and on behalf of the Guelph Family Health Study
Nutrients 2024, 16(8), 1186; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16081186 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 212
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
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