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Dietary protein consumption profiles show contrasting impacts on environmental and health indicators

Elie Perraud 1 Juhui Wang 1 Marion Salomé 1 François Mariotti 1 Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot 2 
2 CRESS - U1153 - Equipe 3: EREN- Equipe de Recherche en Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle
Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, CRESS (U1153 / UMR_A_1125 / UMR_S_1153) - Centre de Recherche Épidémiologie et Statistique Sorbonne Paris Cité
Abstract : Patterns of protein intake are strong characteristics of diets, and protein sources have been linked to the environmental and nutrition/health impacts of diets. However, few studies have worked on protein profiles, and most of them have focused on specific diets like vegetarian or vegan diets. Furthermore, the description of the environmental impact of diets has often been limited to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) and land use. This paper analyzes the alignment of environmental pressures and nutritional impacts in a diversity of representative protein profiles of a western population. Using data from a representative survey in France (INCA3, n = 1125), we identified protein profiles using hierarchical ascendant classification on protein intake (g) from main protein sources (refined grains, whole grains, dairy, eggs, ruminant meat, poultry, pork, processed meat, fish, fruits & vegetables, pulses). We assessed their diet quality using 6 dietary scores, including assessment of long-term risk for health, and associated 14 environmental pressure indicators using the Agribalyse database completed by the SHARP database for GHGe. Five protein profiles were identified according to the high contributions of ruminant meat, pork, poultry, fish, or, conversely, as low contribution from meat. The profile including the lowest protein from meat had the lowest impact on almost all environmental indicators and had the lowest long-term risk. Conversely, the profile with high protein from ruminant-based foods had the highest pressures on most environmental indicators, including GHGe. We found that the protein profile with low contribution from meat has great potential for human health and environment preservation. Shifting a large part of the population toward this profile could be an easy first step toward building a more sustainable diet.
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 5:09:22 PM
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Elie Perraud, Juhui Wang, Marion Salomé, François Mariotti, Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot. Dietary protein consumption profiles show contrasting impacts on environmental and health indicators. Science of the Total Environment, 2023, 856 Part 1, pp.159052. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.159052⟩. ⟨hal-03823126⟩

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