Sustainability and Food Insights Survey (USA, 2023)

Food + Planet‘s 2023 Sustainability and Food Insights Survey included 1,161 Registered Dietitians (RDs) across the USA and found the vast majority of RDs believe their profession should be involved in advocating for sustainable food systems, yet most do not feel confident in providing guidance, primarily due to lack of education and resources. The survey uncovered that sociocultural and planetary health aspects of sustainability ranked as top areas of opportunity for dietitians to deepen their knowledge.

Key Findings of the 2023 Sustainability and Food Insights Survey:

  • Over nine in 10 dietitians feel they should be involved in advocating for sustainability, yet close to half do not consistently incorporate sustainability into their work.
  • Nearly all dietitians report they have barriers for advancing sustainable food systems in their practice. The largest barriers cited were lack of access and affordability, followed by lack of knowledge, tools, and resources.
  • More than 2 out of 3 dietitians say they do not feel confident or feel neutral about providing sustainability guidance. Among areas of sustainability, RDs reported the least knowledge on agriculture practices and environmental impacts of foods; ethical labor, sourcing, and climate justice; soil health and biodiversity; and culturally inclusive guidance.
  • Most dietitians believe sustainability should be part of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • There is disparity among RDs’ beliefs on sustainable diet practices compared to evidence-based global food based dietary guidelines that incorporate sustainability.

Conclusions:

  • There is a major gap in sustainability education and knowledge in the field of nutrition.
  • Professional sustainability education is currently limited in quality and scope.
  • Opportunities for formal training need to be expanded.
  • Access and affordability are significant barriers for RDs to advance sustainability within their practice.
  • Views of sustainability priorities differ from that of global emerging consensus areas.
  • There is an urgent need to advocate for formal integration of SFS into the Dietary Guidelines.

This survey was conducted by Food + Planet in collaboration with Today’s Dietitian and Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. The survey may be used in print or online publications with attribution to Food + Planet, with the exception that it may not be used for commercial purposes without permission from Food + Planet.

Food + Planet was founded in 2020 by four registered dietitians: Sherene Chou, Kate Geagan, Sharon Palmer, and Chris Vogliano with an aim to empower healthcare professionals to be leaders in sustainable food systems.

Contact for Food + Planet:
Kate Geagan MS, RDN
(+1) 435-659-9386
Kate@FoodAndPlanet.org
www.FoodAndPlanet.org

Relevant resources in the ICDA SFS Toolkit:

View/download the resource

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