Dr. Bälter is currently a Professor in public Health at Mälardalen University as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. She served as a Visiting Professor at Williams College and more recently as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, both in the United States. Having begun her studies in nutrition at the University of Stockholm, she completed her PhD in Oncology-Pathology at the Karolinska Institute. She has also completed post-doc work at Harvard University and Boston University.
The focus of her work is sustainable lifestyles. She has completed studies on the short and long term effects of various lifestyle factors on health in large population-based studies. This work is supported by her background in nutritional epidemiology.
Climate change is an urgent global issue and the food sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE). Our collective food choices have significant impact on global GHGE and in order to reduce climate impact from food, the consumption of meat, in particular beef, should be reduced and the consumption of plant-based foods, such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit increase. In our ongoing studies we link Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) data, assessment the environmental impact of foods, to a large study on food habits in order to estimate diet-related GHGE as well as the intake of nutrients associated with vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy products. We found that a self-selected diet low in GHGE provides comparable intake of nutrients associated with vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy, as a diet high in in GHGE. Also, it shows that a diet low in GHGE adhere to dietary guidelines. This opens up for a future win-win situation between a diet low in GHGE and a nutritious diet.