Study Shows Healthier Eating in Young Adults Who Value Sustainably Produced Food

Researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health published a study in Public Health Nutrition that tracked eating habits of young adults over the span from adolescence to adulthood. The research found that individuals who are more aware of where and how food is produced tend to select more nutrient-dense food choices. In particular, the study considered practices related to sustainable diets, such as eating food that is organically grown/produced, minimally processed, locally grown, and not genetically modified. In adolescence/early adulthood, 11% of participants reported supporting two or more of these sustainable practices, and 11 years later, in young adulthood, 34% reported supporting two or more. Those participants had higher diet quality. “The results of the study are in line with our hypothesis that supporting sustainable diet practices is related to more frequent preparation of meals with vegetables and multiple markers of better diet quality, such as higher intake of fruits and vegetables,” says study co-author Nicole Larson.