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Sustainable food versus health concerns


  • Avermaete, T.
  • Mathijs, Erik


Simultaneous with the growing demand for sustainable food, statistics in all EU member states report consumption patterns that are characterized by too much fat, overdoses of sugar and a lack of fruits and vegetables. The streams of literature that investigate the factors influencing sustainable food consumption and healthy food consumption are largely separated. However, the question whether there is a positive relationship between consumer behaviour towards sustainable food and consumer behaviour towards healthy food remains largely unanswered. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the consumption of different types of sustainable food on the one hand, and healthy food patterns on the other. The study is based on a sample of 2595 respondents in Belgium. The research shows a significant relationship between a healthy diet and sustainable food choices. Analyses applied to identify gender- or age-specific tendencies demonstrate that the association is particularly pronounced for consumers between 26 and 40 years old. For younger consumers (<26 years) and older consumers (>65 years), the relationship between sustainable food behavior and the choice for healthy food is weak. These findings can be extremely useful in the communication and promotion of different types of sustainable food.

Suggested Citation

  • Avermaete, T. & Mathijs, Erik, 2008. "Sustainable food versus health concerns," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44237, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:44237

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    Cited by:

    1. Alessia Cavaliere & Elena Claire Ricci & Matteo Solesin & Alessandro Banterle, 2014. "Can Health and Environmental Concerns Meet in Food Choices?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(12), pages 1-16, December.

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    Sustainability; food; health; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

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