Recommendations for Integrating Evidence-Based, Sustainable Diet Information into Nutrition Education

Nutrients. 2021 Nov 21;13(11):4170. doi: 10.3390/nu13114170.


The adoption of more sustainable diets (SD) has the capacity to meet the needs of individuals without compromising future generations' abilities to do the same. Nutrition educators are ideal candidates for delivering SD education to consumers, yet evidence-based recommendations for the profession have not been crafted. The results of a thorough, narrative review of the literature performed in 2021 suggest there are five well-supported recommendations nutrition educators should consider incorporating in their work. They are (1) shift towards a plant-based diet, (2) mitigate food waste, (3) limit consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF), (4) engage in local food systems, and (5) choose sustainable seafood. Each recommendation is discussed below in detail, to provide nutrition educators with a nuanced scope of the issue, after which suggestions for the inclusion of these recommendations, using an example of the authors' experiences from the US Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), are provided.

Keywords: climate change; food systems; food-related environmental impacts; nutrition education; sustainability; sustainable diets.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Climate Change
  • Diet / methods*
  • Diet, Healthy / methods
  • Environment
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Fast Foods
  • Food Handling / methods
  • Food Supply / methods
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Nutritional Sciences / education*
  • Refuse Disposal
  • Seafood