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Welfare and sustainability effects of dietary recommendations

Author

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  • Irz, Xavier
  • Leroy, Pascal
  • Réquillart, Vincent
  • Soler, Louis-Georges

Abstract

The paper develops a framework combining a model of rational behaviour under dietary constraints, an epidemiological model of diet-related mortality, and a life-cycle-analysis model of environmental impact, which permits the ex-ante assessment of dietary recommendations in multiple sustainability dimensions (i.e., taste cost, welfare effect, deaths avoided, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and acidification). It is applied to compare in a French context the relative effects and efficiency of six popular sustainable diet recommendations. The results confirm the synergies between the health and environmental dimensions: healthy-eating recommendations usually have a positive effect on the environment, although some exceptions exist. Most of the sustainable diet recommendations appear highly cost-effective, but those most commonly promoted on health grounds (e.g., targeting consumption of salt, fruits and vegetables and saturated fat) rank highest in terms of overall efficiency. Moreover, the valuation of benefits indicates that in most cases health benefits are significantly larger than environmental benefits. Overall, the analysis reveals some under-investment in the promotion of sustainable diet recommendations in France. The general lack of enthusiasm in policy circles for informational measures promoting behavioural change may reflect unrealistic expectations about the speed and magnitude of dietary change rather than an objective assessment of the efficiency of those measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Irz, Xavier & Leroy, Pascal & Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2015. "Welfare and sustainability effects of dietary recommendations," TSE Working Papers 15-565, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jun 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:29193
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Soler, Louis-Georges & Thomas, Alban, 2020. "Is there a win-win scenario with both limited beef production and reduced beef consumption?," TSE Working Papers 20-1067, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    2. Irz, Xavier & Jensen, Jørgen Dejgaard & Leroy, Pascal & Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2017. "A Cross-Country Comparison of the Sustainability Effects of Dietary Recommendations," 2017 International Congress, August 28-September 1, 2017, Parma, Italy 261114, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Dogbe, Wisdom & Gil, José M., 2018. "Effectiveness of a carbon tax to promote a climate-friendly food consumption," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 235-246.
    4. Requillart, V. & Irz, X. & Jensen, J. & Leroy, P. & Soler, L.-G., 2018. "Promoting Climate-Friendly Diets: What Should We Tell Consumers in Demark, Finland and France?," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277057, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Chalmers, N. & Revoredo-Giha, C., 2018. "Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption whilst incorporating consumer preferences," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277060, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Bonnet, Céline & Bouamra-Mechemache, Zohra & Corre, Tifenn, 2016. "An environmental tax towards more sustainable food consumption: empirical evidence of the French meat and marine food consumption," TSE Working Papers 16-639, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    7. Doro, Erica & Réquillart, Vincent, 2018. "Sustainable diets: are nutritional objectives and low-carbon-emission objectives compatible?," TSE Working Papers 18-913, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    8. Revoredo-Giha, C. & Akaichi, F. & Toma, L., 2018. "Exploring the effects of increasing underutilized crops on consumers diets: The case of millet in Uganda," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277447, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Thomas, Alban & Lamine, Claire & Allès, Benjamin & Chiffoleau, Yuna & Doré, Antoine & Dubuisson-Quellier, Sophie & Hannachi, Mourad, 2020. "The key roles of economic and social organization, producer and consumer behaviour towards a HAFEN (Health-Agriculture-Environment-Food Nexus)," TSE Working Papers 20-1068, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    10. Bonnet, Céline & Bouamra-Mechemache, Zohra & Corre, Tifenn, 2018. "An Environmental Tax Towards More Sustainable Food: Empirical Evidence of the Consumption of Animal Products in France," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 48-61.
    11. Dogbe, Wisdom & Gil, Jose Maria, 2017. "Distributional Impacts of Green Taxes on Food Consumption in Catalonia," 2017 International Congress, August 28-September 1, 2017, Parma, Italy 261416, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. Castiglione, Concetta & Mazzocchi, Mario, 2019. "Ten years of five-a-day policy in the UK: Nutritional outcomes and environmental effects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 185-194.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    food choice; rationing; norms; healthy; nutrition; cost-benefit;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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