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Media release: Australasian doctors agree with EAT-Lancet: plant-based diet shift is vital

For immediate release
Attention: health, medical, lifestyle editor
Issued: 9 April 2019

The recently-established health promotion charity Doctors For Nutrition welcomes the 2019 release of the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health.

This major report is a partnership between the global non-profit EAT Foundation and one of the world’s leading medical journals, in collaboration with nutrition, health, sustainability and policy researchers. The report outlines how to achieve healthy and sustainable eating patterns for an estimated global population of 10 billion people by 2050, and is the product of three years of work by nearly 40 international experts.

According to the Commission, unhealthy diets are the leading risk factor for disease worldwide and, “pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than does unsafe sex, and alcohol, drug, and tobacco use combined.” The current global food system, say the authors, is among the largest drivers of climate change, environmental degradation, and transgression of planetary boundaries. It will be impossible to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals or the Paris Climate Agreement without a radical global transformation of our food system, according to this report.

         The current global food system is among the largest drivers of climate change, environmental degradation, and transgression of planetary boundaries.

The Commission’s Planetary Health Diet stresses the importance of consuming a much greater quantity of whole, plant-based foods (vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds), and reducing the consumption of animal products. Among its recommendations, it highlight the need to reduce global consumption of both red meat and refined sugar by more than 50%, mainly by lowering intake in wealthier countries.

Planetary healthy plate EAT-Lancet
The 'Planetary Health Diet' emphasises whole, plant-based foods and reduced consumption of animal products

The targets and recommendations provided within the EAT-Lancet report lay out a pathway for the necessary global shift toward a plant-based eating pattern, and Doctors For Nutrition supports this substantial effort. This week, the 23rd International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) World Conference on Health Promotion is taking place in Rotorua, bringing together hundreds of participants with a passion for health promotion, advocacy, and policy development.

With a theme of ‘Promoting Planetary Health and Sustainable Development for All’, findings from the EAT-Lancet report are front and centre for both presenters and delegates.

Doctors For Nutrition’s Lead Nutritionist for the New Zealand region, Anna deMello, is presenting on the topic of Resilience enhancement via population-level uptake of plant-based eating patterns. Jono Drew, 5th year medical student and DFN affiliate in NZ, is also presenting the results of his Bachelor of Medical Sciences honours thesis, which modelled the climate impacts of various eating patterns in the NZ context and showcases the benefits of plant-based eating patterns for both personal and planetary health.


For Further Information & Comment

Dr Heleen Haitjema is available for comment on 0432 994 909 or via email

Download a PDF version of this media release here.

View Doctors For Nutrition’s Position Statement on the EAT-Lancet Report here.

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