Katarina Bälter

Global diet-related greenhouse gas emissions and its implication on society.

The role of food and agricultural systems on climate change has been highlighted on the political and scientific agenda in recent years. Approximately 25-30 % of the global greenhouse gas emissions originate from production and distribution of food. Different food products, and thus also diets, are associated with various levels of greenhouse gas emissions. There would be substantial climate benefits if more people reduced their intake of beef and increased their intake of plant-foods. Such transition would influence the society in various ways as well as have potential public health implications.

The purpose of this proposal is to spend a sabbatical at Stanford University working together with Professor Gardner at Stanford Prevention Research Center. There I will:

o Attend the multidisciplinary Stanford Food Summit regarding global diet-related greenhouse gas emissions.

o Write a review paper with Dr. Gardner where we will make a synthesis of the current knowledge on diet-related greenhouse gas emissions and its implications on the society.

o Finish two manuscripts based on ongoing studies on diet-related greenhouse gas emissions and its implication on public health based on Swedish data.

The proposed study is based on a novel approach that examines the association between food production and intake, eating behavior and greenhouse gas emission. The result will be beneficial for the general public and potentially improve public health and Sweden and worldwide.
Final report

What I have been doing during my sabbatical at Stanford

My one-year sabbatical at Stanford School of Medicine is over and it has been a fantastic experience! I would like to start by thanking Riksbankens Jubileumsfond for giving me this opportunity! It has vitalized my research on sustainable lifestyle and health by being exposed to new ideas and knowledge, expanding my network and establishing new collaborations.

I have had the time to write, reflect and plan for the future. Also, I have had the chance to interact and collaborate, in particular regarding the planning of a new study called “Stealth vs. Heath Study” at Stanford as well as planning for future manuscripts based on the “Diet vs. Genotype Study”, where the data collection finished during my visit. It is my hope that this year is the beginning of a long and creative collaboration! I have invited members in the research group at Stanford to visit Sweden and I’m looking forward to future visits to Stanford. Below is a list of some of the things I have been doing during my sabbatical year.


Attending meetings and conferences
•    Oral presentation at the 2nd International conference on global food security, Cornell University, NY.
•    The Food Forum at Stanford University.
•    A variety of seminars at Stanford University.
•    The weekly nutrition team meetings and the postdoc meetings.

Supervising PhD students (by e-mail, skype etc)
•    Camilla Sjörs – ongoing student (main supervisor)
•    Camilla Wiklund - new student registered in November 2015 (co-supervisor)
•    Thang Trinh – finished his thesis in January 2016 (co-supervisor)

Hosting visitors
•    Annika Tillander, PhD at the Karolinska Institutet.
•    Camilla Sjörs, PhD student at the Karolinska Institutet.
•    Stephanie Bonn, postdoc fellow at Harvard School of Public Health.

Getting a new job
•    Was appointed full professor in public health at Mälardalen University, Sweden.
•    Will be appointed visiting professor at the Karolinska Institutet (20%).

•    Grant for the World Cancer Research Fund.
•    Manuscripts for Journal of Medicine Internet Research, Advanced in Nutrition, British Journal of Cancer, Nutrition Journal etc.
•    Reviewed text for the Swedish Cancer Foundation’s web page (I’m their nutrition expert).  

Submitted grant proposals

Co-applicant:    Small business proposal (SBIR Program).    
Basket scoring – a novel technology to assess and modify consumer behavior regarding healthy food habits.

PI:    Project grant(Forte)    
The importance of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle for breast cancer prevention  - with focus on women at high risk of breast cancer

PI:    Project grant(Forte)    
An intervention study of sustainable food habits that promotes health and environmental aspects:
The effect of climate friendly and organic diets

PI:    Project grant (Formas)    
The effect of sustainable food habits on the microbiota: An intervention study of climate friendly and organic diets that promotes health and environmental aspects

PI:    Project grant(Cancer Foundation)    
An intervention study of climate friendly and organic food habits to promote a diverse gut flora, sustainable health and environment - with focus on colorectal cancer prevention.

PI:    Project grant (Science research council)    
The effect of sustainable food habits on the microbiota: An intervention study of climate friendly and organic diets that promotes health and environmental aspects

PI:    Project grant (Ekhagastiftelsen)    
An intervention study on climate friendly and organic foods habits  that cultivates a healthy gut flora as well as promotes sustainable health and environmental development

Co-applicant:    Project grant(EU grant)    
FATty acids On chip: non-invasive diagnostic tools for preventing risks for human health associated with the daily intakes of toxicants from food.

PI:    Project grant(Alpro Foundation)        
Sustainable food habits with focus on protein and dairy products.

Co-applicant:    Grant for organizing conferences (Formas)    
The annual meeting of the network NEON: food, environment and health

Grant administrator
The Karolinska Institute Medical University
Reference number
SEK 1,119,000.00
RJ Sabbatical
Globalization Studies