Written by Daniel Martin. Taken from Dmail with thanks
Britons should significantly reduce the amount of meat they eat in order to save thousands of lives, the chief medical officer said yesterday.
Sir Liam Donaldson said that if the country cut its meat consumption by 30 per cent, 18,000 premature deaths from heart disease would be avoided each year.
And the resulting fall in the number of sick people would mean tens of thousands of extra 'healthy life years'.
In his annual report, he said Britain has a duty to act to reduce the threat of climate change, because our diet is 'warming the planet'.
His comments come a few months after climate change guru Lord Stern called on people to go vegetarian - because methane emissions from cows and pigs were warming the atmosphere.
Commenting on a study into the health impact of reducing the UK's consumption of animal products by 30 per cent by 2030, Sir Liam said: 'It would reduce heart disease by 15 per cent - a substantial reduction - and it would prevent 18,000 premature deaths every year.
'Taking both deaths and disease-related ill health into account, a 30 per cent reduction in animal product consumption would save the equivalent of 175,000 healthy years of life a year.
'Our diet is warming the planet. It is also damaging our health. Changing our diet is difficult, but doing so would both help slow climate change and bring significant health benefits.
Consequences: Sir Liam said Britain's diet was warming the planet
'These are contentious matters but they need to be openly debated and options weighed up.'
Another way to tackle climate change was for the NHS to ensure patients do not have to travel as far for treatment. Sir Liam wants to see more tests and procedures made available nearer to home - or even in the home - to reduce patients' car use.
For example, they could be encouraged to take their blood pressure at home rather than having to visit their GP.
In addition, patients could have a test or an injection at their GP surgery, rather than having to make the much longer journey to hospital.
Sir Liam said more could be done to ensure that hospitals and GP surgeries were accessible by bus. One in 20 road journeys in the UK is related to the NHS.
'As it has the largest carbon footprint of any public sector organisation in Europe, the NHS has a responsibility to be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,' he said. 'It can enhance its efficiency and service whilst doing so. Climate change and health are inextricably linked.'
Sir Liam wants the NHS reduce its carbon footprint by 10 per cent by 2015. He also called for more use of the internet to allow consultations to occur remotely, and to promote better 'self-care'.
Meanwhile, grandparents need to be involved much more in improving the health of their grandchildren, Sir Liam said.
Forty per cent of grandparents now provide some kind of childcare when parents are working, and 70 per cent look after children at other times.
But few of them encourage their grandchildren to eat healthily or take more exercise. A recent study found that children looked after by their grandparents were more likely to become obese because they were overfed.
Sir Liam said he wanted to see government advice for grandparents to promote the health of their grandchildren.
Artikel ini cuma mengingatkan supa mengurangkan pengambilan daging diatas sebab kesihatan dan elok untuk alam sekitar..