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Journal Articles European Journal of Nutrition Year : 2024

Environmental impact and nutritional quality of adult diet in France based on fruit and vegetable intakes

Abstract

Purpose To describe the nutritional quality and environmental impact of self-selected diets of adults in France in relation to their fruit and vegetable (FV) intakes. Methods Estimates of food and nutrient intakes were taken from the national INCA3 Survey on food intakes carried out in France in 2014–2015. The population ( n = 2121 adults) was split into five quintiles of FV intakes, in g/d (Q1 representing the lowest intake, and Q5 the highest). The nutritional quality of diets was assessed through 4 indicators: mean adequacy ratio (MAR), solid energy density, mean excess ratio (MER) and Programme National Nutrition Santé guideline score 2 (PNNS-GS2). The environmental impacts were measured with environmental footprint (EF) scores and 4 additional indicators: climate change, ozone depletion, fine particulate matter and water use. Indicators were compared between quintiles. Analysis was conducted on diets adjusted to 2000 kcal. Results MAR and PNNS-GS2 increased with increased FV quintiles, while solid energy density decreased. Fibre, potassium, vitamin B9 and vitamin C densities increased with increasing FV intakes. Climate change, ozone depletion and fine particulate matter impacts of diets decreased with increasing quintiles of FV consumption. Conversely, water use impact increased. Conclusion Higher intake of FV is associated with higher nutritional quality of diets and lower environmental impact, except for water use. Given the benefits of fruit and vegetables for human health and the environment, their negative impact on water use could be improved by working on the agricultural upstream, rather than by changing individuals’ food choices and reducing their consumption.
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hal-04236604 , version 1 (11-10-2023)

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Nathalie Komati, Florent Vieux, Matthieu Maillot, Nicole Darmon, Johanna Calvarin, et al.. Environmental impact and nutritional quality of adult diet in France based on fruit and vegetable intakes. European Journal of Nutrition, 2024, 63, pp.195-207. ⟨10.1007/s00394-023-03252-3⟩. ⟨hal-04236604⟩
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