Fast Food, Slow Sustainability?

MADE Student Project

The current food system has a large impact on global greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater use. Shifting towards a sustainable food system is becoming increasingly important, and individuals can contribute by making sustainable food choices and avoiding excessive consumption. However, consumers face challenges in making sustainable choices due to the prevalence of unhealthy and unsustainable fast-food outlets. The association between fast-food outlet exposure, specifically the proximity and density of fast-food outlets, and environmentally sustainable food choices is not well understood. This study aimed to fill this knowledge gap by examining the association between fast-food outlet exposure and sustainable dietary intake and food-related behavior. Statistical and GIS analyses were performed to explore the influence of the fast-food environment. The study's findings did not demonstrate a significant association between fast-food outlet exposure and sustainable food choices and food-related behavior. This suggests that factors beyond fast-food availability may have a stronger influence on sustainable dietary choices. Although the study did not find a significant association between fast-food outlet exposure and sustainable food-related outcomes, it provides valuable insights into the fast-food environment and sustainability. Future research should address limitations such as sample size, representativeness, and the consideration of other contributing factors. By doing so, the fast-food environment and its influences on sustainable food choices and behavior can be better understood, thereby guiding the development of more sustainable diets.

Author: Antonia van der Grinten

Afbeelding credits

Icon afbeelding: Fast food by Stockdonkey from Getty Images.png