Change Your Diet, Save the World?


A Lancet commission has set out nutritional guidelines and dietary targets that not only focus on helping people to live healthier lives but also consider the health of the planet. Many modernized countries are facing public health challenges caused by diets that promote obesity and conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The authors hope the targets will help address these health issues in while also promoting sustainable food production for the planet’s growing population.

The dietary targets developed by the commission have the following major features:

  • Get 35 percent of your daily calories from whole grains
  • Eat 2 cups of fruits and vegetables per day
  • Choose protein-rich foods mainly from plant sources

These targets could translate to a major reduction in red meat and animal protein consumption across many countries. In fact, the commission estimates that following their guidelines would result in a reduction in red meat and sugar consumption of about 50 percent. As difficult as it might be to make this trade off, the estimated health benefits could be well worth the sacrifice. The commission’s models indicate the dietary targets could prevent more than 11 million premature deaths each year.

Sourced from: The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health