Prelims cum Mains

Cut red meat, sugar by 50%: Lancet’s diet plan for the world

The News

  • The Eat-Lancet Commission has released a global healthy diet plan for the growing global population and for sustainable food systems that will minimise damage to our planet.


  • According to the commission, the current food systems of the world are not only faulty but also a major contributor to climate change.
  • According to estimates, globally more than 800 million people suffer from hunger.
  • Further, almost 2 billion people are consuming faulty unhealthy diet accounting for up to 11 million avoidable deaths per year.
  • Besides, being nutritionally sub-optimal, the dominant diets of the past 50 years in the world are also contributing significantly to climate change.
  • Further, food is the single strongest lever to optimise human health and environmental sustainability on Earth.
  • Thus, the Eat-Lancet commission has recommended a healthy diet plan that is both nutritionally optimal and planetarily safe.
  • Further, the new diet could avert 10.9-11.6 million premature deaths a year.

Planetary Healthy Diet Plan of EAT-Lancet Commission

  • The Planetary diet Plan includes 2 aspects including healthy diet plan and safe food systems.

Healthy Diet Plan

  • Basic characteristics of a healthy diet plan include a dramatic reduction in the consumption of meat and dairy and a sharp increase in plant-based foods.
  • High amount of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and unsaturated oils, with very moderate amounts of seafood and poultry.
  • No or very low quantities of red meat, processed meat, added sugars, refined grains and starchy vegetables.
  • The daily requirement of an average adult of 2500 calories should involve
  • 800 calories from whole grain (rice, wheat or corn)
  • 204 calories from fruits and vegetables
  • 30 calories from red meat (beef, lamb or pork).

Safe Food Systems

  • Apart from optimal nutrition plan, safe food systems should involve sustainable food production that are characterized by
  • No usage of additional land
  • Safeguard existing biodiversity
  • Reduce consumptive water use.
  • Substantially reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution
  • Produce zero carbon dioxide emissions,
  • Check the increase in methane and nitrous oxide emissions.

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