Drivers of a new dietary transition towards a sustainable and healthy future
Daniel Francisco Pais a , Antonio Cardoso Marques a,* , Jose Alberto Fuinhas b
a NECE-UBI, University of Beira Interior, Management and Economics Department, Rua Marques D’Avila e Bolama, 6201-001, Covilha, Portugal
b NECE-UBI and Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Keywords: Food economics Food policy Drivers of dietary transition Education Food prices Panel data
Given the impact of food consumption on climate change and the scarcity of natural resources, along with its effect on public health, a new dietary transition away from environmentally burdensome and unhealthy foods is needed. To promote such a transition in the dietary habits of consumers, it is crucial to understand what motivates their consumption habits. Therefore, this study seeks to assess potential drivers of a new dietary transition. Drivers such as income, prices, education, human development, and environmental awareness were assessed for 25 countries around the world over the last two decades. The panel-corrected standard errors estimator was computed to control for data specificities. Results revealed that prices, education and environmental awareness promote the new dietary transition, while income, human development, and globalization may act as barriers. Moreover, evidence of an Environmental Kuznets Curve was found. To meet sustainability targets, strategies that can help developing countries “tunnel” through this curve are recommended. Education and information campaigns, along with price mechanism strategies could be effective ways to promote the new dietary transition. Food policymakers need to understand what drives this transition, so they can design effective and efficient strategies that promote economic growth while guaranteeing sustainable development.
To read the full article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clrc.2021.100025