In a report which was issued to all MPs in the House Magazine called,"Plant-Based Diets: A solution to our public health crisis," chief physicians reveal that the frequency and the costs of the most threatening illnesses, such as obesity, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes can be considerably reduced by switching to a diet free of meat and dairy products.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the London-based NGO, World Preservation Foundation, explained that the Government can take the international lead in the support and implementation of healthier plant-based policies and incentives, setting a benchmark in healthcare, environmental protection and policy innovation. The WPF recognizes the task of protecting and enhancing public health, whilst controlling increasing costs in the NHS, and has set out suggested measures it believes the Government can put into action to meet this challenge.
In the UK, chronic diseases are escalating as not enough thought is given to dietary choices and the primary cause of these diseases. Current data reveals that more than 60% of the population is overweight or obese, and that in the UK approximately 200,000 individuals die each year from cardiovascular diseases alone, costing over £30 billion.
The report explains how a simple change in diet can help treat these diseases. Leading physician and investigator, Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, who directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program in Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, USA, commented: "We are potentially on the cusp of what could be a seismic revolution in health. This will never come about from another pill, another procedure, another operation, or construction of another cardiac cathedral. It will come about when we are able to show the public the lifestyle that will halt and eliminate 75% of these common, chronic killing diseases. The most essential component of this lifestyle is whole food plant-based nutrition."
Dr. Esselstyn's report explains:
"I initiated a long term study that treated seriously ill patients with coronary artery disease with plant-based nutrition and succeeded in the arrest and reversal of their disease.
Patients lose weight, blood pressure normalizes, and type 2 diabetes improves or resolves, as do angina, erectile dysfunction, and peripheral vascular and carotid disease.
Sadly, today our adolescents are but a decade or 2 away from compounding this epidemic. It is time to tell the truth. Family history and genetic background do not cause this illness. It is not the luck of the draw. It is a matter of personal action and responsibility. Genes load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger."
While the Government find it hard to deal with the increasing NHS costs, a solution to these chronic public heath treats is readily available. If they were to offer public education on the direct connection between the epidemic of the disease and a diet consisting heavily of meat and dairy products, automatically with lifestyle changes the mounting costs would be reduced. Dr. Neal Barnard, founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says: "Many people still have no idea that food choices make such an enormous difference. Not only can healthier choices tackle the obesity epidemic; they also help us reverse heart disease, prevent cancer, and reduce the risk of other major health problems. Now is the time to spread the word far and wide."
Also included in the report is Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Director of Research for Nutritional Research Project for the National Health Association, New Jersey, who said: " The cure for type II diabetes is already known - removing the cause can reverse the disease, and the chief cause is excess weight from Western diet and inactivity. The best and safest 'medicine' for a diabetic is a high-nutrient density (HND) diet: focused on low-calorie, nutrient-rich plant foods and exercise.
Weight loss is effective in itself, but the goal of lifestyle intervention must be to improve pancreatic function and lower insulin resistance over and above what could be accomplished with weight loss alone.
An HND diet can accomplish this; by emphasizing micronutrient adequacy, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure are lowered as weight is lost and blood glucose drops. We have extensive experience treating overweight diabetics with superior nutrition and the results are impressive. The majority are able to restore their glucose levels to the normal range without any further need for medications. They have essentially become non-diabetic again."
"New dietary guidelines emphasizing nutrient-rich plant foods can enable modern populations to dramatically improve their health, dramatically reduce healthcare costs, while at the same time save millions of needless deaths from heart disease, strokes, cancer and diabetes. It is time for an evolution in healthcare where prevention via proper diet, not drugs, becomes the foundation of modern healthcare."
Because of solid evidence that a plant-based diet can be a direct and cost effective solution to chronic disease, the World Preservation Foundation is stating that instead of mild recommendations to eat more fruits and vegetables, the Government should lead by example and should start nationwide incentives and campaigns in order to create a societal shift towards more plant-based nutrition.
Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop, WPF Executive Director explained: "Advanced nutrition science has provided us with the simple and cost effective solution of a wholesome plant-based diet for preventing and even reversing these diet related disease. People can make an informed choice when they know the full facts and that needless suffering and loss of loved ones can be avoided to a large extent.
Bill Clinton made the change to a plant-based diet after having sting surgery. He knew about the advantages of plant-based diets, but made the change for his daughter Chelsea's wedding - he wanted to be alive and healthy for his grandchildren."
Written by: Grace Rattue