Nutrition and the Planet: It’s Not Only About Our Own Health


Welcome to lesson 6 of our module “The Power of Nutrition”: Nutrition and the Planet: It’s Not Only About Our Own Health

Our individual health is not independent but fully relies on the health of our planet. In this lesson, we will learn about the role of our diet in the planetary context and how what’s best for our own health also turns out to be best for the planet.

What will I learn in this lesson?

  • How our dietary choices influence climate change.
  • How we influence emerging infectious diseases with our food choices and global food system.
  • How this is all interconnected with the NCD crisis and the powerful role nutrition can play.

Before moving on to the next lesson, we recommend that you watch the video and pass the quiz.

Note: In each video lesson, the key facts and learnings will be sent to your module cheat sheet, which will become available for PAN members after completing the final test.



Climate change
EAT Lancet paper
Willett, W et al. “Food in the Anthropocene: The EAT–Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems” 393 (2019): 46.

EAT Lancet plate model
“The Planetary Health Diet - EAT.” Accessed June 1, 2021.

Comparison of dietary guidelines
Springmann, M et al. “The Healthiness and Sustainability of National and Global Food Based Dietary Guidelines: Modelling Study.” BMJ, July 15, 2020, m2322.

Environmental impact of food production
Poore, J., and T. Nemecek. “Reducing Food’s Environmental Impacts through Producers and Consumers.” Science 360, no. 6392 (June 1, 2018): 987–92.

Graph from:
Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser (2020) - "Environmental impacts of food production". Published online at Accessed June 1, 2021.

Regional food choices
Modified Figure 1B from: Springmann, M et al. “Analysis and Valuation of the Health and Climate Change Cobenefits of Dietary Change.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, no. 15 (April 12, 2016): 4146–51.

Organic food choices
Clark, Michael, and David Tilman. “Comparative Analysis of Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Production Systems, Agricultural Input Efficiency, and Food Choice.” Environmental Research Letters 12, no. 6 (June 1, 2017): 064016.

Graph from:
“Is Organic Really Better for the Environment than Conventional Agriculture? - Our World in Data.” Accessed June 1, 2021.

Emerging infectious diseases
UNEP graphics
“Six Nature Facts Related to Coronaviruses.” Accessed June 1, 2021.

UNEP (2016). UNEP Frontiers 2016 Report: Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi. Graphic on page 19 'Pathogen flow at the wildlife–livestock–human interface' and graphic on page 24 'Transmission of zoonotic diseases and amplification in people'

Share of zoonotic diseases, risk factors
Taylor, LH et al. “Risk Factors for Human Disease Emergence.” Edited by M. E. J. Woolhouse and C. Dye. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences 356, no. 1411 (July 29, 2001): 983–89.

Definition of zoonoses
Karesh, WB et al. “Ecology of Zoonoses: Natural and Unnatural Histories.” The Lancet 380, no. 9857 (December 2012): 1936–45.

Additional Attribution

Background music in video:

Lesson Content