Sustainable consumption American style: Nutrition education, active living and financial literacy

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The 1992 Earth Summit highlighted the critical role of consumption in affluent nations as a source of global environmental deterioration. While most developed countries have begun over the past decade to grapple with the difficult challenges of reducing household demand for energy and materials, sustainable consumption has yet to attract substantive attention in the United States. There exist, however, several strategic openings that American proponents of more environmentally benign household provisioning could exploit to launch a public dialogue about the environmental implications of contemporary consumption. First, public health professionals have in recent years begun to make significant strides publicizing the nutritional inadequacy of the American diet and the contributory role it plays in elevating incidences of chronic disease. Second, the rapid increase in the rate of obesity in the country is now coming to be understood as a health problem that is attributable to the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles. Finally, there is growing public concern in the United States over the accumulation of unprecedented levels of consumer debt and the epidemic of personal bankruptcies. The intent of this paper is to highlight the need to consider the personal dimensions of everyday life when formulating strategies to foster more sustainable consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-418
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


  • Individual sustainable development
  • Nutrition ecology
  • Physical fitness
  • Sustainable active living


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