Can you get too much of a good thing? It may well be a sign of the times where many people are now “overnourished” while others go without proper nutrition. This imbalance is not just a public health issue but may also represent a pending global sustainability crisis.
An international team of scientists has developed a diet it says can improve health while ensuring sustainable food production to reduce further damage to the planet.
The “planetary health diet” is based on cutting red meat and sugar consumption in half and upping intake of fruits, vegetables and nuts.
And it can prevent up to 11.6 million premature deaths without harming the planet, says the report published Wednesday in the medical journal The Lancet.
The authors warn that a global change in diet and food production is needed as 3 billion people across the world are malnourished — which includes those who are under and overnourished — and food production is overstepping environmental targets, driving climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
The world’s population is set to reach 10 billion people by 2050; that growth, plus our current diet and food production habits, will “exacerbate risks to people and planet,” according to the authors.
“The stakes are very high,” Dr. Richard Horton, editor in chief at The Lancet, said of the report’s findings, noting that 1 billion people live in hunger and 2 billion people eat too much of the wrong foods.
Horton believes that “nutrition has still failed to get the kind of political attention that is given to diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria.”
You may also enjoy Why the ‘eat a healthy, balanced diet’ advice is meaningless