Special Issue "Advancing Healthy Food Environments for Sustainable Diets in a Changing World"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Security and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 14 February 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Selena Ahmed Website E-Mail
Food and Health Lab, Sustainable Food Systems Program, Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University
Interests: Sustainable Food Systems; Biodiversity; Global Change; Crop Quality; Food Environments; Food Security
Co-Guest Editor
Prof. Shauna Downs Website E-Mail
Department of Urban-Global Public Health, School of Public Health, Rutgers University
Interests: Global Public Health; Health Policy; Sustainable Food Systems; Food Environments; Food Security

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

An essential strategy to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is supporting sustainable diets that promote the human condition and conserve ecological resources in socially acceptable ways (Ahmed and Byker Shanks 2019). Undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and obesity afflict every nation, while strong evidence links diets to chronic disease. Concurrently, food production places greater stress on ecosystems compared to all other human activities while being critically dependent on ecosystem services. Factors of global change exacerbate food system challenges in supporting environmental and human wellbeing.  

A sustainable diets approach is increasingly being adopted in recognition of the linkages between the environment, food, and health. Alongside shifts toward consumption of healthy foods, sustainable diets also consider the ecological and socioeconomic dimensions linked to dietary choice, including biodiversity, ecosystem services, greenhouse gas emissions, equity, food traditions, and food sovereignty. In order to support sustainable diets, a consumer’s food environment must empower sustainable dietary choices. The food environment is the consumer interface of the food system that influences the availability, affordability, convenience, and desirability of foods (Herforth and Ahmed 2015). Global change. including climate change, land-use change, and shifts in markets and policies, has led to a food environment transition associated with dietary and nutrition transitions with implications for wellbeing. As the food environment is a key systemic driver of dietary choice, policies and programs are called for to support food environments that promote sustainable diets. 

We invite contributions that address food environment and/or sustainable diet topics, including their linkages. Contributions may include literature reviews, conceptual advances, methodological advances, community-based case studies, empirical field studies, and big data analyses. We are interested in contributions from diverse socioecological perspectives across a range of food environments from wild and cultivated food environments to informal and formal market food environments situated in indigenous, rural, and urban food systems.

Prof. Selena Ahmed
Prof. Shauna Downs
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Sustainable food systems
  • Food environments
  • Wild foods
  • Indigenous food systems
  • Place-based food systems
  • Global change
  • Dietary diversity
  • Sustainable diets
  • Public health
  • interventions
  • Food sovereignty

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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