Research Projects

Healthy Diet & Environment

Research projects explored issues, metrics, strategies and implications for nutrition communications and provided context for interpreting global evidence for Australian red meat consumption in a healthy diet.


Scoping & Insights

  • Workshops - brought together key stakeholders and experts across the agricultural, public health, environmental and social sciences to understand the issues and research questions pertinent to MLA’s nutrition program1.
  • Surveys to determine the perspective of the general public and of dietitians on sustainability and agricultural issues and implications for communications on sustainable diets2-4.
  • Literature review to identify current knowledge and gaps on measurement of sustainable diets5.

Environmental impact of the Australian diet

  • Life-cycle studies – to determine metrics for and describe the impact of the Australian diet relative to planetary boundaries for climate, cropland, water and pesticide toxicity6-16.

Healthy and sustainable diet strategies

  • Life-cycle studies – to assess the potential for dietary change to concurrently reduce environmental impacts across three indicators (climate, water and cropland scarcity) and improve diet quality in line with the Australian Dietary Guidelines17.



Scoping & Insights

  1. For information about workshops, contact
  2. Worsley A, Wang W, Ridley S. Australian consumers’ perceptions of environmental and agricultural threats: The associations of demographic and of psychographic variables. Am J Env Protection. 2014;3(1):10-18. doi:10.11648/j.ajep.20140301.12
  3. Worsley A, Wang W, Ridley S. Australian adults’ knowledge of Australian agriculture. Brit Food J 2015;117(1):400-411. doi:10.1108/BFJ-07-2013-0175
  4. Worsley A, Droulez V, Ridley S, Wang W. Dietitians’ interests in primary food production: opportunities for greater involvement in the promotion of environmental sustainability. J of Hunger & Env Nutrition. 2014;9(1):64-80. doi:10.1080/19320248.2013.873010
  5. Ridoutt B, Hendrie G, Noakes M. Dietary strategies to reduce environmental impact: A critical review of the evidence base. Adv Nutr. 2017 Nov 15;8(6):933-946. doi:10.3945/an.117.016691

Environmental impact of the Australian diet

  1. Ridoutt B, Huang J. Three main ingredients for sustainable diet research. Environ Sci Technol. 2019 Mar 19;53(6):2948-2949. doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b00935
  2. Ridoutt B, Hadjikakou M, Nolan M, Bryan B. From water use to water scarcity foot printing in environmentally extended input-output analysis. Environ Sci Technol. 2018 Jun 19;52(12):6761-6770. doi:10.1021/acs.est.8b00416
  3. Ridoutt B, Garcia JN. Cropland footprints from the perspective of productive land scarcity, malnutrition-related health impacts and biodiversity loss. J Clean Prod. 2020 Jul 1;260 (121150):1-9. doi:1016/j.jclepro.2020.121150
  4. Ridoutt B, Huang J. When climate metrics and climate stabilization goals do not align. Environ Sci Technol. 2019 Dec 17;53(24):14093-14094. doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b06593.
  5. Ridoutt B. Climate neutral livestock production – A radiative forcing-based climate footprint approach. J Clean Prod 2021 Nov;291:125260. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.125260
  6. Hendrie G, Ridoutt B, Wiedmann T, Noakes M. Greenhouse gas emissions and the Australian diet – comparing dietary recommendations with average intakes. Nutrients. 2014 6,289-303. doi:10.3390/nu6010289
  7. Hendrie G, Baird D, Ridoutt B, Hadjikakou M, Noakes M. Overconsumption of energy and excessive discretionary food intake inflates dietary greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. Nutrients. 2016 Oct 31;8(11):690. doi:10.3390/nu8110690
  8. Ridoutt B, Baird D, Anastasiou K, Hendrie G. Diet quality and water scarcity: Evidence from a large Australian population health survey. Nutrients. 2019 Aug 9;11(8):1846. doi:10.3390/nu11081846
  9. Ridoutt B, Baird D, Anastasiou K, Hendrie G. An assessment of the water use associated with Australian diets using a planetary boundary framework. Public Health Nutr. 2021 Apr;24(6):1570-1575. doi:10.1017/S1368980021000483
  10. Ridoutt B, Anastasiou K, Baird D, Garcia J, Hendrie G. Cropland footprints of Australian dietary choices. Nutrients. 2020 Apr 25;12(5):1212. doi:10.3390/nu12051212
  11. Ridoutt B, Baird D, Hendrie G. Diets within environmental limits: The climate impact of current and recommended Australian diets. Nutrients. 2021 Mar 29;13(4):1122. doi:10.3390/nu13041122
  12. Ridoutt B, Baird D, Hendrie G. Diets within planetary boundaries: What is the potential of dietary change alone? Sustain Prod Consum. 2021 Oct; 28:802-810. doi:10.1016/j.spc.2021.07.009