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A catalogue of UK household datasets to monitor transitions to sustainable diets

Lookup NU author(s): Remco Benthem De GraveORCiD, Dr Niki RustORCiD, Dr Anthony Watson, Dr Jan SmeddinckORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


There is growing international consensus that current patterns of food consumption are not sustainable and globalchange is needed. Understanding the mechanisms for a transition towards more sustainable diets requires systematicmonitoring at the individual or household level, together with temporal sampling. Many countries collect panel data onfood expenditure and consumption, but it is not clear if they are suitable to develop a clear understanding of how orwhy diets are transitioning to become more or less sustainable. Our aim is to identify and describe existing food anddiet datasets available in the UK and to assess the extent to which they can be employed to monitor transitions tosustainable diets. We show the UK has a large number of datasets tracking individual or household food purchasesand consumption over time. However, current data sources are not suited to gain insight into how and why individualsare (or are not) transitioning to sustainable diets. With the exception of proprietary datasets, most datasets only collectdata annually, making it challenging to understand fine-scale behavioural change over shorter timeframes. Thus, thereis an opportunity to design and implement an open access UK sustainable diets data collection effort at the householdlevel. These efforts can be complemented with recent innovations in data science methods and digital technologies –such as dietary intake trackers – that along with supporting individuals in their dietary behaviour change may enablecollection of high quality datasets.

Publication metadata

Author(s): de Grave RB, Rust N, Reynolds C, Watson A, Smeddinck JD, Souza Monteiro D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Global Food Security

Year: 2020

Volume: 24

Print publication date: 01/03/2020

Online publication date: 07/01/2020

Acceptance date: 09/12/2019

Date deposited: 20/12/2019

ISSN (print): 2211-9124

ISSN (electronic): 2211-9124

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2019.100344


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