B4224 - Co-benefits of sustainable diets for children and the environment - 24/01/2023

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Eszter Vamos | Imperial College London
Dr Jessica Laine, Prof Paolo Vineis, Prof Christopher Millett, Dr Octavio Pano Espinola, Dr Kiara Chang, Dr Oliver Robinson, Dr Mathuramat Seesen
Title of project: 
Co-benefits of sustainable diets for children and the environment
Proposal summary: 

Sustainable diets are linked to co-benefits for human and planetary health, such as decreased environmental impacts by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and improved cardiometabolic health. However, the applicability of sustainable diets to obtain co-benefits has been investigated in adults but not for children and adolescents, who have unique nutritional requirements. To address this, co-benefits of sustainable diets will be estimated in children in ALSPAC. Specifically, we will assess the environmental impacts from diets (e.g., carbon dioxide, water usage, and biodiversity) in children from ALSPAC and associated cardiometabolic health parameters (e.g., body mass index) and estimate the reduction of environmental impacts from switching to a more sustainable diet (e.g., EAT-Lancet reference diet). Uniquely, this project will have in depth assessment of associated co-benefits from reducing ultra-processed foods, a topic of much debate in terms of their true environmental impact. Results from this study can be used to inform sustainable dietary targets specific for children and adolescents and associated policies in the United Kingdom.

Impact of research: 
Results from this study will identify environmental contributions and associated health effects from diets of children in ALSPAC. We will identify win-win diets most healthy for child nutrition and cardiometabolic health while also environmentally sustainable. We will quantify the potential impacts on child measures of adiposity and cardiometabolic health if shifting dietary patterns towards win-win diets and compare the effectiveness against concurrent recommendations such as the EAT-Lancet reference diet appropriate for children. Furthermore, we will identify most effective and policy-relevant scenarios via changing key dietary components that will maximize the co-benefits on child cardiometabolic and planetary health. Notably, this will be the first co-benefits study conducted in children and results could inform future policies on sustainable diets.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 14 December, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 19 December, 2022
Epidemiology, Obesity, adiposity, and biomarkers of cardiometabolic health, Computer simulations/modelling/algorithms, Biomarkers - e.g. cotinine, fatty acids, haemoglobin, etc., Blood pressure, BMI, Cardiovascular, Cohort studies - attrition, bias, participant engagement, ethics, Nutrition - breast feeding, diet