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Food biodiversity : quantifying the unquantifiable in human diets

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Abstract
Dietary diversity is an established public health principle, and its measurement is essential for studies of diet quality and food security. However, conventional between food group scores fail to capture the nutritional variability and ecosystem services delivered by dietary richness and dissimilarity within food groups, or the relative distribution (i.e., evenness or moderation) of e.g., species or varieties across whole diets. Summarizing food biodiversity in an all-encompassing index is problematic. Therefore, various diversity indices have been proposed in ecology, yet these require methodological adaption for integration in dietary assessments. In this narrative review, we summarize the key conceptual issues underlying the measurement of food biodiversity at an edible species level, assess the ecological diversity indices previously applied to food consumption and food supply data, discuss their relative suitability, and potential amendments for use in (quantitative) dietary intake studies. Ecological diversity indices are often used without justification through the lens of nutrition. To illustrate: (i) dietary species richness fails to account for the distribution of foods across the diet or their functional traits; (ii) evenness indices, such as the Gini-Simpson index, require widely accepted relative abundance units (e.g., kcal, g, cups) and evidence-based moderation weighting factors; and (iii) functional dissimilarity indices are constructed based on an arbitrary selection of distance measures, cutoff criteria, and number of phylogenetic, nutritional, and morphological traits. Disregard for these limitations can lead to counterintuitive results and ambiguous or incorrect conclusions about the food biodiversity within diets or food systems. To ensure comparability and robustness of future research, we advocate food biodiversity indices that: (i) satisfy key axioms; (ii) can be extended to account for disparity between edible species; and (iii) are used in combination, rather than in isolation.
Keywords
Dietary diversity, disparity, ecology, evenness, food biodiversity, functional diversity, nutrition, richness, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS, DIVERSITY INDICATORS, NUTRITIONAL-STATUS, SUSTAINABLE DIETS, QUALITY, HEALTH, VARIETY, INDEX, PLANT, CONSUMPTION

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MLA
Hanley-Cook, Dr. Giles, et al. “Food Biodiversity : Quantifying the Unquantifiable in Human Diets.” CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION, vol. 63, no. 25, 2023, pp. 7837–51, doi:10.1080/10408398.2022.2051163.
APA
Hanley-Cook, Dr. G., Daly, A., Remans, R., Jones, A. D., Murray, K. A., Huybrechts, I., … Lachat, C. (2023). Food biodiversity : quantifying the unquantifiable in human diets. CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION, 63(25), 7837–7851. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2022.2051163
Chicago author-date
Hanley-Cook, Dr. Giles, Aisling Daly, Roseline Remans, Andrew D. Jones, Kris A. Murray, Inge Huybrechts, Bernard De Baets, and Carl Lachat. 2023. “Food Biodiversity : Quantifying the Unquantifiable in Human Diets.” CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 63 (25): 7837–51. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2022.2051163.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Hanley-Cook, Dr. Giles, Aisling Daly, Roseline Remans, Andrew D. Jones, Kris A. Murray, Inge Huybrechts, Bernard De Baets, and Carl Lachat. 2023. “Food Biodiversity : Quantifying the Unquantifiable in Human Diets.” CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 63 (25): 7837–7851. doi:10.1080/10408398.2022.2051163.
Vancouver
1.
Hanley-Cook DrG, Daly A, Remans R, Jones AD, Murray KA, Huybrechts I, et al. Food biodiversity : quantifying the unquantifiable in human diets. CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION. 2023;63(25):7837–51.
IEEE
[1]
Dr. G. Hanley-Cook et al., “Food biodiversity : quantifying the unquantifiable in human diets,” CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION, vol. 63, no. 25, pp. 7837–7851, 2023.
@article{8747928,
  abstract     = {{Dietary diversity is an established public health principle, and its measurement is essential for studies of diet quality and food security. However, conventional between food group scores fail to capture the nutritional variability and ecosystem services delivered by dietary richness and dissimilarity within food groups, or the relative distribution (i.e., evenness or moderation) of e.g., species or varieties across whole diets. Summarizing food biodiversity in an all-encompassing index is problematic. Therefore, various diversity indices have been proposed in ecology, yet these require methodological adaption for integration in dietary assessments. In this narrative review, we summarize the key conceptual issues underlying the measurement of food biodiversity at an edible species level, assess the ecological diversity indices previously applied to food consumption and food supply data, discuss their relative suitability, and potential amendments for use in (quantitative) dietary intake studies. Ecological diversity indices are often used without justification through the lens of nutrition. To illustrate: (i) dietary species richness fails to account for the distribution of foods across the diet or their functional traits; (ii) evenness indices, such as the Gini-Simpson index, require widely accepted relative abundance units (e.g., kcal, g, cups) and evidence-based moderation weighting factors; and (iii) functional dissimilarity indices are constructed based on an arbitrary selection of distance measures, cutoff criteria, and number of phylogenetic, nutritional, and morphological traits. Disregard for these limitations can lead to counterintuitive results and ambiguous or incorrect conclusions about the food biodiversity within diets or food systems. To ensure comparability and robustness of future research, we advocate food biodiversity indices that: (i) satisfy key axioms; (ii) can be extended to account for disparity between edible species; and (iii) are used in combination, rather than in isolation.}},
  author       = {{Hanley-Cook, Dr. Giles and Daly, Aisling and Remans, Roseline and Jones, Andrew D. and Murray, Kris A. and Huybrechts, Inge and De Baets, Bernard and Lachat, Carl}},
  issn         = {{1040-8398}},
  journal      = {{CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION}},
  keywords     = {{Dietary diversity,disparity,ecology,evenness,food biodiversity,functional diversity,nutrition,richness,ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS,DIVERSITY INDICATORS,NUTRITIONAL-STATUS,SUSTAINABLE DIETS,QUALITY,HEALTH,VARIETY,INDEX,PLANT,CONSUMPTION}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{25}},
  pages        = {{7837--7851}},
  title        = {{Food biodiversity : quantifying the unquantifiable in human diets}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2022.2051163}},
  volume       = {{63}},
  year         = {{2023}},
}

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