Study bares ‘ideal diet’ to keep people and planet healthy too costly for some

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  • A study recently bared that some people in the world cannot afford a healthy diet that also protects the planet
  • It was revealed that the ideal diet recommended for the good of 10 billion people and the earth would cost $2.84 per head per day
  • Researchers argued that in order to achieve the ideal diet among the poorest people, there has to be an economic change

Health experts would always recommend the public to eat nutritious and a balanced diet every day. This simple reminder has been told many times even before we graduate in grade school.

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But a study recently bared that some cannot afford a healthy diet that also keeps a healthy planet. It was reported that at least one in five people find the science’s “ideal diet”, which is designed to feed 10 billion people without hurting the planet, too costly.

The EAT-Lancet Commission on January had constructed the first global benchmark diet capable of sustaining health and protecting the planet; however, its affordability was not assessed.

The ideal diet formulated early this year recommended that people must double their intake of nuts, fruit, vegetables, and legumes. It also recommended to eat half as much meat and sugar to prevent health risks as well as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve land, water, and biodiversity.

The recent study entitled “Affordability of the EAT-Lancet reference diet: a global analysis” conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute and Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University found out that the ideal diet would cost $2.84 per head per day.

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“Our study showed that EAT–Lancet reference diets are not affordable for much of the world’s low-income population,” the study stated. “We estimated that at least 1·58 billion individuals, mostly located in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, face a daily cost of meeting EAT–Lancet targets in their country that exceeds their total per capita household income.”

It emphasized that many more people would be unable to afford the ideal diet after paying for non-food necessities such as housing, transportation, education, and health care.

According to senior author Will Masters, “for the poorest people, solutions to malnutrition will require economic change.”