Livewell: a balance of healthy and sustainable food choices

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned Report


With increasing recognition of the environmental impact of food and drink, future food policy and dietary advice need to go beyond the traditional focus on nutrient recommendations for health to include wider issues of sustainability. The task should not be underestimated, not least because the issue of sustainability is complex with multiple dimensions, including environmental, economic and social aspects. Current dietary advice is based on nutrient recommendations for health. These recommendations have been translated by the Food Standards Agency into a health education tool for the public, known as the Eatwell plate. The plate illustrates the proportions of major food groups that should be included in a healthy diet. It is now recognised that this advice needs to be extended to integrate sustainability.

The Climate Change Act 2008 set out targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGEs) 2. At present it is estimated that 18-20% of GHGEs in the UK come from the food chain. In response to climate change, WWF-UK’s One Planet Food Programme (2009-12) set goals to reduce GHGEs from the consumption and production of food destined for the UK by at least 25% by 2020 and by 70% by 2050 (based on 1990 emission levels). This will require changes to both the supply side (food production) and the demand side (food consumption) within the food supply chain. As part of the WWF programme, this project was designed to incorporate issues of environmental sustainability, in particular reduction in GHGEs, into the Eatwell plate advice to develop what WWF terms the ‘Livewell’ plate.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherWorld Wildlife Fund UK
Number of pages64
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


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