Ron Sumners The report from a panel of nutrition agriculture and environmental experts recommends a plant-based diet
19 January, 2019, 21:11
"The dominant diets that the world has been producing and eating for the past 50 years are no longer nutritionally optimal, are a major contributor to climate change, and are accelerating erosion of natural biodiversity".
With the population set to reach 10 billion people by 2050, researchers stressed the "inextricable link" between what we eat and human and planetary health.
Written by 37 scientists from 16 countries and published Wednesday in the medical journal The Lancet, in conjunction with an advocacy group called the EAT Forum, the report was funded by the Wellcome Trust and Stordalen Foundation.
Seek global and national commitment to shift toward healthy diets that feature more plant-based foods-including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains-and less animal products. The new diet consists of around 35 per cent of calories obtained from whole grains and tubers, and protein mostly derived from plants.
While permitting variations based on local need and culture, the diet allows for an average of just seven grams of red meat per day and 500 grams of vegetables and fruits.
Daily poultry consumption would be confined to 29 grams - equivalent to one and a half nuggets - and fish to 28 grams, a quarter of a medium sized fillet.
Our food choices matter, and the current way we eat is threatening the future of our planet and our health.
Generally, the diet suggests "a diversity of plant-based foods", and limited meat, dairy and other animal products. They an important nutritional part of a healthy, balanced diet.
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Noting that more than 800 million people worldwide "have insufficient food, while many more consume an unhealthy diet that contributes to premature death and disease", co-lead commissioner Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard University said the "world's diets must change dramatically" to reverse the damage that's been done.
By looking at factors such as risk of development and global burden, they found that these types of deaths account for up to 24 percent of adult deaths each year, making a complete diet overhaul a necessary step toward improving overall global health.
The authors argue that the lack of scientific targets for a healthy diet have hindered efforts to transform the food system.
On dairy, the report notes high intake of dairy products, at least three servings per day, has been widely promoted in western counties for bone health and fracture prevention, primarily due to their high calcium content. "These findings suggest that a shift towards a dietary pattern emphasising whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, without necessarily becoming a strict vegan, will be beneficial", stated the report. This could not be achieved voluntarily, it maintained.
"The dietary pattern proposed by the EAT-Lancet Commission and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is certainly possible, but may require more nutrition education and meal planning guidance", said Linsenmeyer, an instructor of nutrition at Saint Louis University in Missouri.
Christopher Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs in London said the report "reveals the full agenda of nanny-state campaigners".
"New Zealand can't and isn't aiming to feed the world with our farming, as we can only feed around 40 million people". They note the recommendations are compatible with the US dietary guidelines, which say to limit saturated fat to 10 percent of calories.
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