Gregory D. Miller, Kevin B. Comerford, Katie Brown, Frank M. Mitloehner
The Importance of a Holistic Approach to Sustainability in Dietary Guidance
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 52, Issue 2, February 2020, Pages 203-205
We welcome the letter to the editor about our Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior position paper on the importance of including environmental sustainability in dietary guidance. Our goal was to increase the visibility of environmental concerns in consumption decisions, and this exchange helps to accomplish that. We are glad to see that our colleagues agree with 2 of the main points of the position paper: an emphasis on food system sustainability is important for improving human and environmental health; and changes to dietary guidance and dietary choices are needed, including those that reduce excess energy intake and food waste. We seem to diverge on just 2 points. First, our colleagues disagree with our focus on the environmental dimension of sustainability, suggesting that we should have also included the health, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability in our paper. Second, they disagree with our suggestion that recommended diets should have fewer ruminant animal foods and more plant-based protein foods, citing concerns about the nutrition and health of consumers, the environment, and the social and economic repercussions of such advice.