Diet Dimensions social game: Case study report on an innovative way of engaging with sustainable diets research
27 June 2017

Sustainable Diets case study report: "Diet Dimensions" policy game


Current and future food systems face massive multi-dimensional challenges that require systematic and coordinated global efforts. They are unsustainable both in terms of the resource inputs required as well as their environmental and social implications. Alongside this, the world’s population has been rapidly growing over the past decades and is estimated to approach 10 billion by 2050. In order to meet these food, nutrition and sustainability challenges food systems must adapt in fundamental ways.

Sustainable diets research presents an opportunity to address these challenges by bringing together multiple sectors, disciplines and expertise to guide the development of local, national, regional and global policies. To engage with these debates, the ANH Academy Working Group on Sustainable Diets has launched its new report which describes the development and functions of social, interactive games as innovative ways of conceptualising and interacting with these issues.

The case study report of the ‘Diets Dimensions Game’ presents the sustainable diets policy game, a novel tool that serves to engage various stakeholders in discussions and project elaboration. Learn more about the game here.

Games are an excellent way to engage people – the mixture of problem solving, brainstorming, team work and competition generates energy and enthusiasm. Live, social games like ‘Diet Dimensions’ are particularly suitable for conference or workshop settings. The first challenge for players is to form a team with a mixture of skills and experiences, so there’s a really good opportunity for networking between different communities.
(Dr. Edward Joy, LSHTM, Coordinator of the Sustainable Diets Working Group)

Click to download the report (pdf):

About this case study report

This report introduces the live social game ‘Diet Dimensions’. It is a novel method of engaging researchers, policymakers and key stakeholders to generate and inform policies for healthier and more sustainable food systems. 

Defining sustainable diets:

“Sustainable diets are those diets with low environmental impacts, which contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations. Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable; nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy; while optimising natural and human resources.” - FAO, 2012 

Get involved – how to play the game

The game ‘Diet Dimensions’ is a work in-progress, informed and modified between each play session. The materials needed to set up a session are available on our website and free to use. We welcome any comments and suggestions and are happy for the game to be used to further research and policy around sustainable food systems. 

Suggested citation

Suggested citation: Kalamatianou, S., Yates, J., Joy, EJM., Vermeire, Z., Rutting, L., Vervoort, J. and the members of the ANH Academy Working Group on Sustainable Diets (2017). “Diet Dimensions”: a case study on a sustainable diets policy game. Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy Sustainable Diets Working Group (ANH-SDWG). Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) programme. London, UK. 

About the ANH Academy Working Groups 

The Agriculture Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy Technical Working Groups aim to synthesise innovative methods and metrics to better understand and address complex issues in the area of agriculture, nutrition and health. The Groups explore critical multidimensional issues by bringing together experts from various disciplines including agriculture, environmental science, epidemiology, nutrition, health, food environments, and foodborne diseases. The Working Groups analyse pathways linking agriculture and nutrition using inter-disciplinary approaches whilst experimenting with alternative teaching, knowledge sharing and dissemination methods.

The ANH Academy Sustainable Diets Working Group aims to generate innovative methods and metrics for use in sustainable diets research and policy development through interdisciplinary research. 

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