Millions of deaths ‘could be avoided in 2040’ if people switched to a more plant-based diet.
A new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal has estimated the number of deaths from nine different countries caused by factors such as air pollution, diet, and physical inactivity in the year 2040.
Then, it ‘applied the effects of policies necessary to reach the emissions targets each government’.
It found a 90 percent reduction in red meat – and increased intake of fruit and vegetables – would lead to almost 100,000 fewer premature deaths per year.
“The health benefits of mitigation in the food and agricultural sector are broadly seen as a result of a transition to more nutritious diets,” the study reads.
“The health and carbon benefits vary depending on a population’s local context and health profile, with several countries consuming well over the daily recommended dietary intake of red meat and others consuming considerably less.”
Moreover, the study concludes: “Nonetheless, as low-income and middle-income countries continue to develop… It is important to ensure that diets evolve and change in a way that maximizes human health and wellbeing.
“This study provides one set of possible scenarios. And, recognizes that a variety of different diets and interventions could be compatible with the Paris Agreement…”
‘The message is stark’
Dr. Ian Hamilton is the lead author of the study. He said: “The message is stark. Not only does delivering on Paris prevent millions from dying prematurely each year… The quality of life for millions more will be improved through better health.
“We have an opportunity now to place health in the forefront of climate change policies to save even more lives.”
You can read the full Lancet report here