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The system-wide impact of healthy eating: assessing emissions and economic impacts at the regional level


  • Grant Allan

    () (University of Strathclyde)

  • David Comerford

    () (University of Strathclyde)

  • Peter McGregor

    () (University of Strathclyde)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Grant Allan & David Comerford & Peter McGregor, 2018. "The system-wide impact of healthy eating: assessing emissions and economic impacts at the regional level," Working Papers 1807, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:1807

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Allan, Grant & Comerford, David & Connolly, Kevin & McGregor, Peter & Ross, Andrew G., 2020. "The economic and environmental impacts of UK offshore wind development: The importance of local content," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 199(C).

    More about this item


    Diet; emissions; economic impact; Scotland;

    JEL classification:

    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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