Oxford University Study Suggests Plant-Based Diets Could Save The World

Yet another study has confirmed the benefits of a plant-based diet.

The findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and conducted by Oxford University researchers, signify the first time that researchers have looked into the impact of a worldwide vegan diet on health and climate change.

The research concluded that if the world went vegan, the impacts on the earth’s climate and public health would be significant. The study found that worldwide veganism would save some $700 billion to $1 trillion per year on health care, and cut food-related emissions by 70%. Not only this, but if the world went vegan it could save 8 million lives by 2050 – that’s a lot of lives.

One researcher said that unbalanced diets of few vegetables and high in red and processed meats “are responsibly for the greatest health burden globally.” The publication of the study said:

“High consumption of red and processed meat and low consumption of fruits and vegetables are important diet-related risk factors contributing to substantial early mortality in most regions while over a billion people are overweight or obese. Without targeted dietary changes, the situation is expected to worsen as a growing and more wealthy global population adopts diets resulting in more GHG emissions and that increase the health burden from chronic, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) associated with high body weight and unhealthy diets.”

The study also suggested that transitioning toward more plant-based diets that are in line with standard dietary guidelines could reduce global mortality by 6–10% and food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 29–70% compared with a reference scenario in 2050.

This research is in line with previous studies that have concluded that meat and dairy can increase the risks of big diseases such as heart disease and cancer, as well as strokes. In addition to this, many studies have pointed towards animal agriculture as being one of the leading causes of climate change.

It seems that if we can all one day transition to a plant-based diet, our chances of health and saving the planet are pretty hopeful.

Image credit: Goodheart’s Extreme Science