TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -Scientists say they have developed what they call the “Planetary Health” diet, an ideal dietary regimen mostly based on vegetables and fruits, which, if adopted, can “prevent” more than 11 million premature deaths around the world each year.
The first science-based diet, which does not completely exclude meat and dairy, is the result of a three-year project called the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health, commissioned by The Lancet health journal and involving 37 world-leading scientists from 16 countries.
In an attempt to protect the Earth against an environmental disaster and ensure that adequate healthy food is available for its booming population, the new plant-focused diet suggests that global average consumption of red meat and added sugar be reduced to more than 50 percent, while eating of nuts, fruits, vegetables, and legumes be doubled.
It adds, however, that the rate of the current consumption of red meat in developed countries such as the United States and United Kingdom should be decreased by more than 80 percent.
“The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently getting this seriously wrong,” said Tim Lang, a professor at Britain’s University of London who co-led the research.
Presenting the diet at a briefing on Wednesday, the researchers said they believed that if the diet was taken up, it could mitigate the damaging effects of climate change, deforestation, and the loss of animal and plant species across the world.
The world population is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050. Feeding this massive population with a healthy and sustainable diet would not be possible without drastically change eating habits, improving food production and decreasing food waste, Lang further said.
“We need a significant overhaul, changing the global food system on a scale not seen before in ways appropriate to each country’s circumstances,” Lang went on to say, adding that although this “is uncharted territory” for policymakers it is not impossible.
A large number of life-threatening chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, malnutrition, and several types of cancer, are linked to poor diets.
The study shows that unhealthy diets are now responsible for more death and disease worldwide than unsafe sex, alcohol, drug, and tobacco use combined.