Katarina Bälter

Katarina Bälter

Affiliated to research

About me

I’m an associate professor at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB) at Karolinska Institutet and professor in public health at the Division of public health science at Mälardalens University. Moreover, I was a visiting scholar at Stanford School of Medicine  during the academic year of 2015-16. The focus of my research is sustainable lifestyle and health.

Selected events

  • We recently published a study on diet-related greenhouse gas emissions and it is one of the first published papers based on  the LifeGene study: Bälter K, Sjörs C, Sjölander A, Gardner C, Hedenus F, Tillander A. Is a diet low in greenhouse gas emissions a nutritious diet? - Analyses of self-selected diets in the LifeGene study. Arch Public Health. 2017 Apr 10;75:17. https://archpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13690-017-…

  • We estimated diet-related greenhouse gas emissions in the national survey Riksmaten: Sjörs C, Hedenus F, Sjölander A, Tillander A, Bälter K. Adherence to dietary recommendations for Swedish adults across categories of greenhouse gas emissions from food. Public Health Nutr. 2017 Dec;20(18):3381-3393. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article…

  • We published results from the first validation study on diet-related greenhouse gas emissions in Environmental Health: Diet-related greenhouse gas emissions assessed by a food frequency questionnaire and validated using 7-day weighed food records. C Sjörs, SE Raposo, A Sjölander, O Bälter, F Hedenus, K Bälter. Environmental Health, 2016:15 (1). http://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-016-0110-7

Research description

My research focuses on sustainable lifestyles and health. This includes a lifestyle that promotes overall good health and quality of life but also contributes to a sustainable development. Sustainable development means that we can meet our needs in terms of living conditions and resource utilization, without jeopardizing future generations' ability to meet their needs.  For example, climate change is a global problem and proactive steps are necessary and my research is therefore grounded in the sustainability goals by the United Nations, i.e. agenda 2030. Approximately 25 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions originate from the production and distribution of food but different food products generate different amounts of emissions.  Changes in food consumption and other lifestyle factors will be important to reduce emissions, but  may also be of great public health relevance and thus,  the overall aim of my research is to study the how a sustainable lifestyle may promote heath and reduced emissions of greenhouse gas emissions using epidemiological data.

Selected projects:


My research is supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council, Formas, The Swedish Cancer Foundation, The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working life and welfare (Forte), and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

Supervision of masters and PhD students

I have been the main supervisor for more than 30 students doing their bachelor or master thesis, summer school project, or research preparatory course, including students from the Erasmus and Fulbright programs, as well as  PhD students. I’m currently supervising the following PhD students:

  • Camilla Wiklund (co-supervisor)

Past doctoral students (as main supervisor):

Other activities

  • Expert and spokesperson on nutrition for the Swedish Cancer Foundation (since 2013).
  • Member of the expert panel on Diet and obesity at SBU – the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment – report published in 2013.
  • Member of the steering group for The Network for Epidemiology and Nutrition (NEON) in Sweden (since 2000).
  • Member of the board in the Association of Members of the Swedish Parliament and Researchers, RIFO (2001-04).
  • President of the Swedish association for nutritionists (2001-2).

Teaching portfolio

I have been responsible for teaching an introduction course in epidemiology for PhD students at KI and I have been a visiting teacher at Williams College, US. I have been the Director of Postgraduate studies at MEB, and the coordinator of the epi program for PhD students at KI. In addition, I have served as teacher for the VetU classes and coordinator for the degree projects at the medical program at KI.


  • Bachelor of Science, major in nutrition, University of Stockholm, 1993.
  • Ph.D. at Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, 1998.
  • Post doc fellow at Harvard School of Public Health and Boston University, 1998-9.
  • Associate professor in medical epidemiology at KI 2004.