Relationship between pro-environmental attitudes and behaviour and dietary intake patterns

V. Asvatourian, T. Craig, G.W. Horgan* (Corresponding Author), J. Kyle, J.I. Macdiarmid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Some of the biggest challenges facing humanity are climate change and future food security, and current dietary patterns are contributing significantly to these problem. While the causes of climate change are known, effective adaption and mitigation will require changing human behaviour and diet. The aim of this study is to explore the link between people’s dietary intakes and their behaviour and attitudes to pro-environmental issues. Cluster analysis was used to identify dietary patterns in the sample and principal component analysis used to describe patterns of environmental behaviours and attitudes. Three clusters are identified; mainstream, health conscious and traditional dietary patterns. The health conscious and mainstream diets are associated with lower GHG emissions than the traditional diet; however this is explained in part by lower energy intakes. Pro-environmental behaviours were more likely to be reported by those with a health conscious diet, but attitudes towards and knowledge of environmental issues did not differ between the three dietary clusters. No association was found between pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours, supporting the idea that simply raising awareness of these links is unlikely to shift people towards healthy more environmentally sustainable diets needed for future food security.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-226
Number of pages11
JournalSustainable Production and Consumption
Early online date31 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

We thank Jennifer Loe for her help with the nutrient composition and GHG data linkage.

Financial Support
This work was supported by the Scottish Government Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) .

Conflict of interest
The authors have no financial or personal conflict of interest to declare.


  • Dietary patterns
  • Environmental behaviours
  • Attitudes
  • Greenhouse gas emissions


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