Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems

Landmark report on diet paves way to future research

Review of EAT-Lancet Commission’s report impact sets out direction of travel for studies into sustainable, healthy diets.

A team of scientists has outlined work needed to deliver the aims of a seminal report into sustainable diets, in a study of the report’s influence in the field.

Two years after the EAT-Lancet commission set out its recommendations for a planetary health diet, scientists have analysed the published responses to the report, identified areas where it has had impact and highlighted opportunities for further studies.

The review, involving researchers at the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems along with colleagues at the University of Sydney, sets out avenues of study in research and policymaking to develop healthy, sustainable food systems around the world.

The approach used in the review should also help guide methods and outcomes in future reports of this type, the team suggests.

Study analysis

Researchers conducted a sweeping review of research carried out in the wake of the EAT-Lancet Commission’s report.

The report outlines targets for achieving sustainable, healthy diets, such as halving red meat intake and eating more nuts, to improve population health while reducing the environmental impact of the global food system.

The team screened hundreds of studies that had cited the EAT-Lancet report, and analysed these to understand how the report had been applied in various research disciplines.

They found that the Commission’s work was generally well received among experts, and had become a central column of research in the field of sustainable diets. It was referenced in studies across health, life sciences, and social sciences.

Scientists identified areas of applied research and policy agenda where further studies would be beneficial to close gaps in understudied areas or take opportunities to develop knowledge. These might include, for example, evidence-based policy interventions, limiting carbon emissions from agriculture, and improving representation of low and middle-income populations in studies.

The study was published in Lancet Global Health.

The EAT-Lancet report has become fundamental to research and discourse around healthy diets. Our review of the report’s impact should aid the direction of research towards healthy people and the environment. We hope our findings will influence research in under-studied areas, such as populations who are not well-represented by the Commission’s findings, or in social issues such as workers’ rights.

Dr Fiona BorthwickGlobal Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems

Scientific publication