‘Downsizing’ good for your health and the environment

Posted on
June 1, 2021

Most of us try to eat healthy foods as much as possible. We are though bombarded with advertising to upsize, super size and in general overeat. Many of these foods are packed with cheap ingredients such as salt, sugar and fat, profitable to food companies but not for our health or the environment.

Eating in excess, is food waste and something we could change to reduce green house gas emissions and be of benefit to our health(1).

It is not only green house gas emissions, but also water scarcity and crop land (2), that need to be considered. As temperatures rise crop yields and nutritional composition of crops (3) changes. The micronutrients such as the levels of iron, zinc and vitamin C and the macronutrients of carbohydrate and protein can too.  Our food system is a complex one. Feeding the 10 billion people on the planet a healthy sustainable diet is a challenge.

What we can to help our health and the environment?

1.      Set higher standards on advertising of low nutrient value foods.

a.      Label unhealthy foods more clearly

b.      Restrict offers to upsize for minimal extra cost

c.      Children should be able to play sport and watch television without constant food advertising

2.      Buy what we need

a.      It can be easy to buy the big pack as it costs only a little more then half is wasted

b.      Planning meals to cook what you buy and avoid finding the unused limp, vegetables at the bottom of the fridge.

c.      Be inventive. Check the fridge to see what food is there and make a pot of warming winter soup, or a delicious curry

d.      Freeze extra serves so they don’t get forgotten about at the back of the fridge

3.      Eat what we need.

a.       Try listening to our appetite and stop when full

b.      Selling smaller serving sizes e.g. cakes in smaller serves

c.      Let’s celebrate taste and quality over quantity

4.      Choose mostly plant foods.

a.      Increase cooking skills of the community to make vegetables taste fantastic

b.      Help farmers promote their produce

c.      Increase access of fresh produce to regional areas

d.      Spend more of our food budget on fresh produce: Fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes and less on ultra processed foods

5.      Embrace the  Australian Dietary Guidelines(4)


Plenty of healthy food options and less super sizing on others will help our health and the environment, let’s act now.



1.   https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/BF/Areas/Nutrition-and-health/Public-health-and-wellbeing/Case-studies/Environmental-impact-of-diets

2.   https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/5/1212/htm

3.   https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168945220300145

4.   https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines

You Might Also Like

No items found.