Wednesday , October 5 2022

Scientists reveal an "ideal diet" for the health of the people and the planet


Scientists have revealed what they say is an ideal diet for the health of the planet and its people, including the duplication of the consumption of dried fruits, fruits, vegetables and pulses, and a reduction in half of meat and intake of sugar

If the world is following the "Planetary Health" diet, according to researchers, more than 11 million premature deaths could be prevented each year, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preserving more land, water and biodiversity

"The food we eat and the way we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently ill," said Tim Lang, a professor at the British University of London who headed the research.

Feeding a growing population of 10 billion people by 2050 with a healthy and sustainable diet will be impossible without transforming eating habits, improving food production and reducing food waste, he said. "We need a meaningful review, changing the world food system on a scale that has not been seen before."

Many chronic diseases that threaten life are related to poor diets, including obesity, diabetes, malnutrition and various types of cancer. The researchers said that unhealthy diets now cause more death and illnesses around the world than the consumption of sex, alcohol, drugs and non-safe tobacco.

The proposed planetary diet is the result of a three-year project commissioned by The Lancet's health journal that includes 37 specialists from 16 countries.

It says that the average global food consumption such as red meat and sugar should be reduced by 50%, while consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes should be double.

For individual regions, this could mean even more dramatic changes: people in North America, for example, eat almost 6.5 times the recommended amount of red meat, while people in South Asia eat only half of the amount suggested by the planetary diet.

The achievement of goals for fecal vegetables such as potatoes and cassava would require major changes in sub-Saharan Africa, where the average number of people eats 7.5 times the suggested amount.

Introducing the diet in an informative session on Wednesday, the researchers said they recognized that it was very ambitious to expect anybody in the world to adopt, especially because there is a great global inequality of access to food.

"More than 800 million people have insufficient food, while many more consume an unhealthy diet that contributes to premature death and illness," said Walter Willett of the Harvard University in the United States.

"If we can not do it right, it is better to try it as close as possible," he said.

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