The System-wide Impact of Healthy Eating: Assessing Emissions and Economic Impacts at the Regional Level

Research output: Working paper

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Encouraging consumers to shift their diets towards to a lower meat/lower calorie alternative has been the focus of food and health policies across the world. The economic impact on regions has been less widely examined, but is likely to be significant, where agricultural and food activities are important for the host region. In this study we use a multi-sectoral modelling framework to examine the environmental and economic impacts of a dietary change, and illustrate this using a detailed model for Scotland. We find that if household food and drink consumption follows healthy eating guidelines, it would reduce both Scotland’s “footprint” and “territorial” emissions, and yet may be associated with positive economic impacts, generating a “double dividend” for both the environment and the economy. Furthermore, the likely benefits to health suggest the potential for a “triple dividend”. The economic impact however depends critically upon how households use the income previously spent on higher calorie diets.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2018



  • diet
  • emissions
  • economic impacts
  • Scotland
  • household incomes
  • dietary changes
  • economics

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