Sus-Health – Sustainable and Healthy Diets for All

Principal Investigator: Professor Frewer, Newcastle University

We need to support a major transformation of the food system, focusing on the production and consumption of healthy and sustainable food. The Sus-Health project will establish and demonstrate a blueprint of a system that incentivises both directly and indirectly the consumption of sustainable and healthy food.

The project will demonstrate how the use of a co-designed, combined measure of environmental impact and nutritive value (the Sus-Health Index) of foods, meals and ingredients can influence the future direction of our food system and the stakeholders within it.

Sus-Health will co-create a systemic strategy and innovative solution for influencing food choices and consumption, so that they better align with planetary boundaries and nutritional guidelines. The resulting consumer preferences (obtained through living lab experiments and through simulation) will travel down the entire food chain, driving the processes and raw materials used towards more sustainable and health-inducing foods and diets.

Comprising two academic partners and a range of stakeholders, Sus-Health will demonstrate several stakeholder-focused communication vehicles in a range of interventions in Northern Ireland. This will be followed by upscaling activities in the rest of the UK.

The consortium comprises a mix of academic and food industry partners with expertise in:

  • consumer behaviour
  • sustainability
  • nutrition
  • agri-economics
  • software design
  • agriculture
  • food service
  • and food systems.

Key outputs of the project will be:

  • the development, validation and demonstration of the use and applicability of a combined measure for assessing sustainability and nutritive value in real settings (restaurants, fast food outlets, canteens and related supply chains)
  • a range of communication tools and approaches aimed at influencing change in consumer food choices
  • interventions focused on food affordability, including economic assessments of direct policy interventions that would make healthy sustainable food more affordable
  • stakeholder guidelines for using the Sus-Health index and related communication tools, together with extensive stakeholder-focused communication and dissemination activities.