Integrated measurement and modelling of nutrition, health and sustainability

What exactly is health? And how would you define sustainability? At present there is no scientific consensus around either concept. Without this consensus it is extremely difficult to develop sound measurement systems, exchange data and results, and assess which options offer the best solutions.

The challenge is to develop a common language for health and sustainability in food to end this confusion. This lingua franca should form the basis for the integrated measurement of sustainability and health performance in our food production and consumption systems, facilitating science-based recommendations for policy and businesses, surfacing important trade-offs that may need to be made between different health and sustainability objectives, and science-based targets and performance management by businesses and governments.

Research scope

  • Combining existing methodologies and datasets into a holistic methodology to adequately measure performance and set improvement targets for:
    • sustainability of production
    • gap between existing diets and diets optimised for health and sustainability
  • Develop models to apply this holistic methodology for a specific:
    • production area (across all relevant agricultural sectors in that area)
    • supply chain (across a number of different sourcing markets)
    • consumer market (across all major food categories in that market)
  • Methodology development
  • Applying big-data analysis together with complexity science to formulate cross-domain models based on correlational structural networks at different scales


Current project:

Completed project:

More info

Wouter-Jan Schouten
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+31 6 22 41 07 61