Designing healthier and acceptable diets using data envelopment analysis
Kanellopoulos, A. ; Gerdessen, J.C. ; Ivancic, Ante ; Geleijnse, J.M. ; Bloemhof-Ruwaard, J.M. ; Veer, P. van 't - \ 2020
Public Health Nutrition 23 (2020)13. - ISSN 1368-9800 - p. 2290 - 2302.
Benchmark - DEA - Diet model - Efficiency - Nutrition - public health
Objective: The objective of this research is to propose methodology that can be used to benchmark current diets based on their nutrient intakes and to provide guidelines for improving less healthy diets in a way that is acceptable for the studied population.
Design: We discuss important limitations of current diet models that use optimization techniques to design healthier and acceptable diets. We illustrate how data envelopment analysis could be used to overcome such limitations, and we describe mathematical models that can be used to calculate not only healthier but also acceptable diets.
Setting: We used data from the Nutrition Questionnaires plus dataset of habitual diets of a general population of adult men and women in The Netherlands (n 1735).
Participants: Adult population.
Results: We calculated healthier diets with substantial higher intakes of protein, fibre, Fe, Ca, K, Mg and vitamins, and substantially lower intakes of Na, saturated fats and added sugars. The calculated diets are combinations of current diets of individuals that belong to the same age/gender group and comprise of food itemintakes in proportions observed in the sample.
Conclusions: The proposed methodology enables the benchmarking of existing diets and provides a framework for proposing healthier alternative diets that resemble the current diet in terms of foods intake as much as possible.
A quantitative framework for evaluating the sustainability of Irish potato cropping systems after the landmark agrarian reform in Zimbabwe
Svubure, O. ; Struik, P.C. ; Haverkort, A.J. ; Steyn, J.M. - \ 2016
Outlook on Agriculture 45 (2016)1. - ISSN 0030-7270 - p. 55 - 65.
Benchmark - Cool farm tool - potato model - Sustainability dimensions - Sustainability indicators - Zimbabwe
Frameworks to evaluate the sustainability of cropping systems in developing countries are scarce. This study proposes a framework to select easily quantifiable indicators that can be used to assess and communicate the sustainability of cropping systems in developing countries. The widely accepted social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability were covered using predefined criteria from which the indicators were then drawn. An initial list of indicators was established based on literature review and expert opinion, and through filtering reduced to 16 core indicators. Using the case of Irish potatobased cropping systems, a grower survey was conducted to collect data on production practices in four different cropping systems. The survey data were then used to calculate the sustainability indicators expressed as resource use efficiencies based on actual potato yields. The survey data also served as input into the Cool Farm Tool - Potato model to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from farm operations involved in potato production. With the help of local agricultural extension officers, focus group discussions were held with farmers of each production system to decide on sustainable and unsustainable indicator threshold levels. The participatory nature of the framework involving farmers and local extension officers secured buy-in from key stakeholders important for operationalization, monitoring and evaluation.