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Does your diet affect the planet?

As children we were told to eat our greens in order to stay healthy. But have you ever wondered how ‘green’ your eating habits really are?

CSIRO is certainly interested, and it is conducting the nation’s largest diet survey to see how our eating habits affect the environment.

The Healthy Diet Score is a survey that is open to all Australians. CSIRO will use the data collected to examine the role Australia’s food consumption contributes to our environmental footprint, as well as to rate the nutritional quality of the average Aussie diet.

The survey analyses diets based on variety of food, frequency of meals, consumption of essential food groups and other factors that may contribute to food-related emissions.

It goes without saying that healthy eating goes a long way to improving quality of life, but there are also environmental benefits of a healthy diet, which include minimising greenhouse gases and processed food packaging and reducing food transport emissions.

Over 70,000 people participated in last year’s survey, from which Australia received an overall diet quality rating of 61/100. The main reason behind our mediocre diet score was that, in comparison to Australian Dietary Guidelines, Aussies consume three times the recommended amount of junk food.

Junk food is one of the highest contributors to food-related greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for up to 27 per cent of the 14.5kg of diet-related greenhouse gas emissions annually produced by the average Aussie.

If you’d like to see how your eating habits measure up against the Australian Dietary Guidelines, why not take part in the Healthy Diet Score survey? We’d love it if you’d share your scores in the comments below.

Related articles:
Why dieting and ageing don’t mix
Five foods that boost weight loss
Five common eating habits and how to break them

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