Consuming less meat, the inhabitants of the earth could prevent several million deaths up to 2050 and save billions of dollars that the governments spend on medical expenses. A new study published in the Journal of the National Academy of Sciences shows how the transition to a plant-based or vegan diet will affect the health and climate.
We do not expect that all people in the world will become vegan. But if they did, they would have lived longer. What we eat affects not only our health, but also on the environment, – says the study’s lead author Marco Springmann.
Researchers at Oxford University have predicted the long-term effects of four different diets.
A diet based on the principles of a healthy nutrition with a moderate consumption of red meat and sugar, by 2050 could prevent 5.1 million deaths while in “the world of vegans” who abandon any animal products, would have died in the 8.1 million less.
Related: Vegetarianism: to be or not to be
Scientists predict that a vegetarian diet could help to reduce food waste emissions by 63%, and vegan – all 70%. Also, eating habits change would save health authorities from 700 billion to $ 1 trillion while the economic benefit of the mere reduction of greenhouse gases amounted to 570 billion dollars a year.
Reducing red meat consumption will have the greatest effect in East Asia, Western and Latin America, while the transition to the fruits and vegetables significantly reduce mortality in South Asia and Africa, from south to Sahara.
Reducing calorie intake will reduce the number of overweight people that play a key role in improving the health of the population of the Mediterranean, Latin America and the western countries.
Unfortunately, the path to the prosperity of mankind is not so simple. Switching to the vegetarian diet will require increasing the number of fruits and vegetables by 25%, which will lead to serious economic changes.