More than a third of early deaths could be prevented by one simple lifestyle change – switching to a vegetarian diet, an expert has said.
Dr Walter Willett of Harvard Medical School said that at least 200,000 lives could be saved each year if people cut out meat.
Dr Willett told the Unite to Cure Fourth International Vatican Conference, ‘We have just been doing some calculations looking at the question of how much could we reduce mortality shifting towards a healthy, more plant based diet, not necessarily totally vegan, and our estimates are about one third of deaths could be prevented.
“That’s not even talking about physical activity or not smoking, and that’s all deaths, not just cancer deaths.”
“That’s probably an underestimate as well as that doesn’t take into account the fact that obesity is important and we control for obesity.”
A previous Oxford University study suggested that 8.1 million deaths could be avoided every year by 2050 if everyone became vegan.
The Oxford University researchers modelled the effects of four different diets by mid-century – and found that a change to veganism would have a huge impact on our planet, if implemented worldwide.
They found thate 8.1 million fewer people would die in a world of vegans who do not consume animal products, including eggs and milk.
When it comes to climate change, adopting vegan diets would cut food-related emissions by 70 percent.